Are You Assertive Enough?

Being assertive is not the same as being aggressive. As management expert Cy Charney explains in his newly revised book The Instant Manager, “Assertiveness is confidence translated into action. It is neither bullying nor brow-beating, but is simply allowing your convictions to carry a conversation. Honesty combined with a non-confrontational manner will make assertiveness one of the most valuable tools in your managerial toolkit.”

So, “Are You Assertive Enough?” Take this short quiz from The Instant Manager to find out.

Answer “Yes” or “No” to each question. Do you…

Yes  No 1. Apologize when you don't have an instant solution to a problem?
Yes  No 2. Frequently apologize for your decisions?
Yes  No 3. Feel that you don't have the right to change your mind?
Yes  No 4. Feel guilty when you make mistakes, even when they can be fixed?
Yes  No 5. Automatically say "yes" when someone makes a request?
Yes  No 6. Feel foolish asking questions when you don't understand something?
Yes  No 7. Follow instructions without question?
Yes  No 8. Think your opinion doesn't count, especially if it differs from the majority?
Yes  No 9. Feel that you don't have the right to ask people to change their behavior towards you?
Yes  No 10. Feel guilty delegating or deferring tasks?
Yes  No 11. Have trouble walking away from an argument?
Total Number of "Yes":

How to interpret your score

If you answered “Yes” to:

8 to 11 of the questions: You need serious improvement. Take an acting or public speaking course, review your accomplishments—whatever will boost your self-confidence.

4 to 7 of the questions: You're just squeaking by. Try some speaking and body-language techniques and learn to keep your cool.

0 to 3 of the questions: You're just about right. Keep it up!

Excerpted from The Instant Manager—More than 100 Quick Tips & Techniques for Great Results, by Cy Charney (AMACOM 2004). Click here to read a sample chapter from the book. Click here for a complete listing of AMACOM's extensive catalog of business titles.

To learn more about developing your assertiveness, consider these AMA seminars:

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