In 2014, Learning4Managers conducted a survey with participants ranging from Director to C-Level. We asked them what kept them from being assertive at work. Their responses led us to understand that what keep us from accomplishing our work are things that we can control or influence.
The top obstacle, found in 60% of the answers, was lack of power and support. Respondents revealed that when they do not feel support from leaders, peers or even their customers, they feel powerless. As a result they experience a decline in motivation and assertive behavior.
Things that can make an individual feel lack or support and powerless include restricting autonomy at work, not allowing for dialogue in the decision-making process, and using intimidation instead of reason to force a choice.
Next in the list with 30% of the answers came lack of clarity, knowledge or skills. Respondents told us that when they are unclear about their expectations, or when they lack the knowledge or skill to do a task, their motivation and assertive behaviors diminish.
Finally at about 10% each came conflict. Respondent included examples such as power struggles and office politics.
If you notice these behaviors at your workplace, now is the time to put a plan together to put a stop to them. Show support to your teams, work on communication skills and clarity, and provide training in conflict management.