Assertive Thinking: Get Your Groove On

By Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

“Success is 99 percent failure.” – Soichiro Honda, Founder, Honda Motor Corporation

If there is a radical thinking style, Assertive Thinking is it.  With raw ambition and individual flair, the assertive thinker will often take over a project – for better or worse. Through sheer will, this thinker can move mountains, but she sometimes causes an earthquake in the process.

However, it’s the courage to try that makes the assertive thinker exceptional. Consequence is secondary to possibility.  A problem is often an opportunity to shine.

As a multifaceted thinker, you’ll want to strive for a tame version of this untamed style.

As a thinker, are you resourceful when presented with a challenge – can you find the courage to take calculated risks?

As a team member, can you help encourage the assertive thinker to adhere to necessary rules?

As a leader, how do you lead a thinker who has no wish to be led?

The new economy is going to continue to require us all to exercise the assertive part of our brain and stir things up. If you are requiring to take more risks or push the envelope, challenging to change the process, wanting to hear what the team’s afraid to admit or needing to create a sense of urgency, assertive thinking is going to be your key to your success. If this is not your strong suit, I recommend strengthening an underutilized area of your brain you may have forgotten you have or identifying and identifying and leveraging those who excel in this area.  Doing things the old way or sitting idle is not a choice. Stir things up – it’s time to change!

2 Responses to “Assertive Thinking: Get Your Groove On”

  1. john watson says:

    Good article, but I want the answer to
    As a leader, how do you lead a thinker who has no wish to be led?

    How do you assert change into the comptempative soul, who thinks a stone is successful because it has survived and sustained an eternity, it has a great succession plan, once a stone always a stone, unless it gets crushed by a bigger stone and becomes sand- now there is a thought, which would force a change

  2. Abhilasha Singhvi, PMP says:

    Great Article Jennifer – Here’s my take on managing the assertive thinker as a team member…
    An assertive thinker, as a team member, could be one with a great amount of will and mental energy, ideas and also leadership qualities. If this energy is channelized into solving and applying oneself to given situations, these” out of the box” thinkers produce great results. As a leader of the team, the Project Manager, must build a relationship of trust and faith and harness this energy. Motivating an assertive thinker will also require a non-conventional approach. As by Jennifer Kahnweiler, PhD. states in her article, “You’re Not So Bad”: Prepare to Motivate, An assertive thinker could be one the team members giving whom “.. a complex problem to solve with time to focus on it really juiced him up.”

    Assertive thinkers as leaders…
    As leaders themselves, assertive thinkers, motivate and lead. But they must also pause to learn and unlearn with patience, if they are going to lead successfully and build meaningful relationships along the way.

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