Tuesday, April 27, 2021

eCanteen Fundas - Not Passive or Aggressive but Assertive is the Way Forward

 Passive, Aggressive - Vote for Assertive!


E-Canteen Fundas: Don’t be combative to control conversations

Rinku, you should be more aggressive in class discussions, yaar,’ said Rahul. ‘Parul completely dominates you. You’re too passive.’

‘I’m not passive,’ said Rinku. ‘I’m being respectful. I just don’t want to upset others, bro.’

‘But Rinku, your viewpoint’s important too,’ said Rakesh. ‘By not expressing your views because you fear others’ reactions, you’re undervaluing, disrespecting and hurting yourself.’

‘Better than disrespecting others, na bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘Parul doesn’t care about hurting others’ feelings or overriding their opinions loudly, intimidatingly. All she wants is to control the space fully, at any cost. I don’t want to be like that.’

‘But that’s the only way to deal with people, Rinku,’ said Rahul. ‘Otherwise, they will walk all over you.’

‘No, Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘Both aggressive and passive behaviours are insecure behaviours. You cannot arrive at the best outcomes because these behaviours do not enable an equal and fair exchange of ideas.’

‘How then, bhaiyya?’ said Rinku.

‘Be assertive,’ smiled Rahul. ‘It means expressing your viewpoint clearly, even gently, because you respect yourself and your views. Being assertive means that you honour and respect others’ views, ask and listen to all viewpoints. Such exchanges are conducted harmoniously. They allow space for one to accept mistakes and retreat gracefully instead of defending endlessly.’

‘True,’ said Rahul. ‘If everyone speaks assertively, all ideas come to the table. We can collaborate on the best ideas and drop ideas that may not work. I wonder why we don’t do that.’

‘We don’t because there’s always bound to be conflict when there are different ideas,’ said Rinku. ‘How do we deal with conflict?’
‘It’s our fear of conflict that makes us behave insecurely,’ said Rakesh. ‘The fear that we may lose or have to fight for space makes us behave passively or aggressively. But the way forward is win-win. Accept that conflicting opinions are bound to come up. Resolve conflict by looking at the process collaboratively, expressing yourselves assertively and seeking others’ viewpoints. Normally, it leads to the best outcome for all concerned.’

‘So it’s not about being loud or even withdrawing from participation, but being assertive and facilitating the best outcome for all, effectively and elegantly,’ said Rinku. ‘Thanks, bhaiyya.’

Pro Tip: Be assertive and express clearly. Respect your views and that of others for a win-win and enable the best outcomes

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