Assertiveness, the most emerging phenomena now a days! Be Assertive , He is assertive, Remain assertive and etc. All the time behavioral mentors tries to emphasize it. Is it a real need ? In a diplomatic era still it has place? OK, if we take every thing answered then still why?
Let’s see some definitions,
OXFORD : “expressing opinions or desires strongly and with confidence, so that people take notice.”
WIKIPEDIA.: ” a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person’s rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny one’s rights or point of view”
CMHC. ” Clearly communicating what you want, Expressing your feelings, needs, and opinions, Standing up for your rights when they are threatened or taken advantage of.”
We took the four major definitions with a consensus on clearly communicating, bold expression of your feelings, Emphasize on what? , defending your rights. So, excluding some points from Cambridge definitions (are meant to elaborate below with other perspective) I am on a opinion that assertiveness is all being aggressive / bold / belligerent / confrontational. Now let’s check the meaning in Urdu, Assertiveness means جارحانہ پن. This means on the front step Aggression. When you are aggressive there is only the meaning to defend “I”, Now this “I” can be defined for anything related to me or in my favor.
Take Some common examples Shahid Afridi is a aggressive (جارحانہ) player, Here we also can say On the Go, He is not Assertive at all? Rewind to the dictionary meaning according to that he should be a assertive one and He is a assertive off-course. Refer to Symonds he is also a assertive but with a bit of sense! No aggression on all the deliveries but sure aggression on the plain ones! When we talk any military, fundamentalist, patriotic dots they are all assertive, but why? only because they have to defend their grounds. once you have to, you would always take any step to make you safe without caring the next party even you will play to take down the opponent this is what we call aggression/assertiveness! Now take the example of Gen. Musharraf (i personally don’t like him for Pro USA policy and LAL masjid treason). What did he did was all in the favor of the nation, we can say a vast national interest in his views he was took the decesion to take out Bugti was for Pakistan, LAL masjid operation was for Pakistan everything was for vast national interest and he remained assertive. If he go for counsel, and get some suggestions and then opt for this kind of act then he was more closer to ” democratic” arc from where starts is only diplomacy! where he might be surrendering some chunks for producing “Win Win”. So assertiveness in my view is aggression, not even a good thing for a diplomat.
What our Literature defines about assertiveness is take a stand then care for opposition also! mean defend and retreat for some portion. We may can say a bargaining like Quote a little bit high then give the concession to make a feeling that we did concession. Here It should be better to say be Diplomatic instead of assertive.
Win Loose, Win Win, Loose win its a diplomacy where to share the the consequences put the liability on the other shoulders for sharing the burden.
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