Part 2: Essentials of Supervision - Are you Extreme or Just the in Between?

Most of the time, people are so composed that one can never tell if a person has some struggles going on beyond what is physically visible. But our ways of handling or reacting to a situation that put us on a certain level of difficulties can actually reveal our true self.

As I've learned, people adapt three styles of relating to a situation - passive, aggressive and assertive.

Now, in which of these styles do you actually belong? And which style would you really like to adapt?

The Diplomat1

Are you afraid of experiencing direct rejection? Do you rarely take action to meet your own needs? Are you dependent and afraid to stand up for your own? Do you usually use the words 'maybe', 'perhaps' or use disclaimers? Do you prefer to be always on the safe side? Try measuring out your confidence level. Imagine yourself in a situation, say in a meeting and everyone is throwing up ideas that you think are so brilliant. You have something in your mind that you actually would like to contribute when everyone have decided to settle for the idea suggested by your team leader. What would you do? If you choose to remain silent because you were afraid yours might be rejected, then you are a passive kind of person. You rarely speak out. You just accept additional work load without question. You can be bullied. And chances are you are unknowingly building up resentment, anger and frustration inside while decreasing your sense of worth and respect (of self and from others). How can you get out of this passive behavior? Start from within yourself. Build that confidence first and everything will follow - respect, sense of worth and direction and being connected with people around you.

So do you usually use this line? "Sige lang, pag ako napuno... hmp! Lintek lang ang walang ganti?"

The Action Man1

The opposite of this sulky behavior is the dominant type often born because of low self-esteem. So remember, when you are working out your passive behavior be careful not to overdo it as you may end having an aggressive behavior. Assess yourself. Are you the kind of person who:
- uses humiliation to control others?
- speaks in loud, demanding and overbearing voice?
- interrupts frequently?
- always use 'you' statement (you should, you better, you always, you never)?

If you thinks so but you're not so sure, further re-assess yourself:
- do you notice growing resentments from others?
- do people tend to avoid you?
- are you having difficulties to express your feelings without getting mad?
- are you having difficulties cultivating relationship?

If your answer is 'yes' to some of these questions then you are likely the overbearing, egoistic, opinionated individual. Ouch! That really hurts right? When you are aggressive, people usually follows you not out of respect but because of your superiority.

The Negotiator1

It's Friday and you're looking forward to spending the night with your family when at around 5PM, your boss approaches you and asks you in a form of 'favor' to prepare and complete the report he needs for his Monday board meeting presentation. What do you think is your best option - saying 'yes, boss I can do it' because you think 'hmmm... this is my time to shine and prove to my boss I'm good at what I do'. So it's an added merits on you. Or would you out-rightly say 'no' because you are not confident you could finish the work on time?

If you say yes, then you are passive. If you just plainly say 'no boss, you should have told me earlier...' without offering alternatives, that makes you aggressive. The best approach is to say no, explain why and offer what you can do. Negotiate. Push back. Assure your boss you can deliver what you've committed. Be assertive!

Now, being assertive is not a case-to-case basis. You should be assertive at all times, 24/7! Assertiveness does not only apply on dealing with corporate bosses, colleagues and clients. It is something that we could effectively apply on our day-to-day decision-making.

However, being assertive could not guarantee that you could get whatever you want so avoid unreasonable expectations from others.

and I may add... The Extremist

A person who is absolutely passive can be an animal (overly aggressive) when his hot button is pressed. Watch out for this kind of person. Because they tend to use subtle sabotage to get even. They use sarcasm and often has facial expression that don't match how they feel (like smiling when angry). Always in denial of a problem but frequently mutters to themselves rather than confront the person or issue. They can switch on and off of both extremes: passive now and minutes later became aggressive. These are what we usually called 'ang hirap timplahin ng ugali'. If you are this kind of person, my advice is to seek for professional help.

Where do majority of Filipino stands? By nature, Filipinos are passive as clearly explained below:

- Filipinos are not comfortable at accepting direct compliments. For instance when someone compliments us on how good we look, our usual response is 'it's just the dress'. We could not openly accept compliment and admit that we really look good. Modesty aside, we could just have said 'thank you' and return the compliment.

I couldn't help but link this to a friend's post just to elaborate about how we Filipinos are so uncomfortable giving and receiving compliments.

- We became passive when we relate to elders out of respect. Even though we don't believe in what our elders are saying, because we regard them with respect, we affirm them.

- In work, we have difficulties relating upward preventing us from voicing out our concern. That is the reason why 'grapevine' is very common in our working environment.

- We tend to assume. We don't clarify questions. So often times, we find ourselves messed up in petty misunderstandings.

- We are a 'pleaser'. We try to please people (especially bosses) to earn extra merits so we end up being a 'yes man' thus compromising our other commitments.

The list could go long but these are the obvious I have observed so far and some are my personal experiences.

1 Description on the first three different styles of relating were excerpt from the Thursday discussion we had at our training - Essentials of Supervision (10/6/2011).


RicAdeMus said...

I didn't fit in any of those categories--and I'm glad. =)

IamNoOne said...

@ricademus: so what are you now? :p

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