How To Do Life

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Are You Assertive Enough? Too Assertive? A Self-Assesment

Alas, squeaky wheels get the grease but not if you’re too squeaky.

Not that long ago, to stay reasonably employed, you only had to do what you're told. But today, alas, mainly the assertive thrive. Of course, you don’t want to be too aggressive.

Are you assertive enough? Rate yourself from 0 to 10 on each of these:

1. Your job description.

10 = You would try to get your job description changed so it better suited your strengths and the employer’s needs.

0 = You'd either take or leave the job description as-is.

Your score: ____

2. Negotiation.

10 = You negotiate fairly but firmly.

0 = You accept the first offer.

Your score: ____

3. Soliciting feedback.

10 = You regularly solicit feedback on yourself and take action to improve.

0 = You never solicit feedback on yourself and even if you get it, do little to improve.

Your score: ____

4. Giving feedback.

10 = You regularly offer positive and negative feedback, for example, if you believe you were treated unfairly or that a co-worker's poor work is affecting you or the organization.

0 = You never give feedback.

Your score: ____

5. Initiating projects.

10 = You're likely to take on, or ask your boss if you can take on, a project: streamline a system, identify a new profit center, start an online discussion group, whatever.

0 = You never propose doing a project that isn't already assigned to you.

Your score: ____

6. Proposing ideas.

10 = You often make suggestions in meetings or to your boss.

0 = You never make suggestions. Your comments are limited to agreeing or disagreeing with others' ideas.

Your score: ____

7. Disagreeing.

10 = If appropriate, you express disagreement with your co-workers or boss.

0 = You never express disagreement with your co-workers or boss.

Your score: ____

8. Cold-contact.

10 = You don't hesitate to make a cold call or email, whether to get a sale, information or a reasonable favor.

0 = You're scared to and never make cold calls or emails.

Your score: ____

9. Learning.

10 = You're an autodidact: You don't need the structure of school to learn. You do most of your learning on your own or with a tutor rather than signing up for a course, which may be expensive and/or inconvenient with lots of instruction that's off-target or poorly paced for your needs.

0 = You need the structure of school.

Your score: ____

10. When wise, you look for a better job.

10 = If your job is boring, unethical, dead-end, insufficiently remunerative, or otherwise unsatisfactory, you assertively seek better work.

0 = You stay put unless you get terminated or a better job drops in your lap.

Your score: ____

Utterly Unvalidated Scoring Key

90+: Fully assertive. You'll likely move up in responsibility and feel control over your worklife. Just be sure you’re not too assertive. For example, are you getting subtle or not-subtle cues from others that your assertiveness exceeds your competence or judgment?

70 - 89: Assertive

35 - 70: Average

Below 35: Passive.  Are you letting the world control too much of your existence? Should you speak up more for what you want? Or do you believe it’s wise to accept yourself as-is?

Whatever your score, is there an item or two you'd like to work on?

Marty Nemko's bio is in Wikipedia.

Marty Nemko is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, Ca. and the author of 7 books. 
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