Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Assertiveness Training

I was told by TWO, not just one person today, that I need to be assertive. Make that three, if my hubby agreeing with the first two, counts. The first was my day job boss. The second, my psychologist. Actually, my day job boss was giving me good news overall. I mean really really good news that I'm bursting to shout out but can't yet. Then he added the caveat, that I have to be more confident and assertive, and to improve my verbal communication skills. Hey! I'm a writer. We writers get to edit our material before presenting it for publication. Speaking is far different. There's usually only a second or two in which to think about our spoken words. He says I'm very detailed oriented - which is good when I'm in my administrative mode. I'm a great secretarial type - shorthand, type 100+ wpm, I can create formulas and graphs in Excel. But I want to be more. Hell, I got my MBA so I could be more than an administrative assistant. I worked damn hard for it. However, my boss says I'm too detailed when speaking. Soooooooooo, I'll be biting my nails and praying a LOT during the next few days. And I'll be practicing my assertiveness. Oh! I signed my contracts today for "Wild Fantasies", a TEB release for April 7th. As you can see, (even if I'm being vague), that it's been a great day - despite the assertiveness thing. One question: A couple months ago, my boss told me that I have a Type A personality. Yet he's now telling me I need to be more assertive. Aren't those two things opposite?


Jennifer said...

Is your boss a clinical psychologist?

Type A is not a compliment, Ashley, and most people don't understand its true definition: Type A Behavior Pattern, is a set of characteristics that includes being impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about one's status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation. As "stress junkies," they are prone to circulatory health problems including hypertension, and coronary disease.

Note that aggressive is not the same as assertive. Assertiveness implies confidence that is expressed calmly; aggressiveness implies only a readiness to attack.

The opposite of Type A would be Type B: relaxed, lazy, more likely than a Type A personality to be patient; creative and imaginative, inclined to self-analyze, evasive of stressful situations, and bad at coping under stress.

So, unless your boss is a clinical psychologist who has administered the standard five-minute personality type interview, or unless you have self-administered the Jenkins Activity Survey, take the Type A assessment with a grain of salt.

Kudos on your good week, Ashley. You're the second person I *know* who is embarking on a publication contract!

Brynn Paulin said...

Congrats on the great news (whatever it is) and on the contract. Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

I agree about writers -- we're writers, not public speakers. Sometimes getting the right words out in a flash is nearly impossible.

Molly Daniels said...

Congrats on the contract:) I'm a type B myself and express myself soooooo much better in writing!

Unknown said...

No, my boss is not a psychologist but he is a sales person and corporate trainer and customer service director type.

I know Type A is associated with stress, and I can be highly competitive. I don't think I'm aggressive, however, or incapable of relaxation.

Bronwyn Green said...

Congratulations on the new contract and the mysterious good news! ;)

Unknown said...

I hope I'll know soon about the mysterious news and won't have to keep it a mystery.

Caffey said...

Congrats on the contracts for the books!! Yeah!

I'm not familiar with Assertiveness training, so I too don't know the differences either. But reading does wonders for me for stress. So I got you to thank for that!

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