People often ask me about the Genuineness principle in our TIGERS line up.

Genuineness is being real and part of that reality is the ability to be assertive. Assertiveness is the power to speak your truth and get what you want while communicating a credible and self-assured professional image.

What might this look like?

Jenny runs into her colleague who mentions that an old friend called and now she won’t be able to join Jenny after work for appetizers and drinks. “Oh, that’s OK,” Melanie responds.

Is it OK? Was Jenny disappointed?

If it wasn’t OK, Jenny would be left with some pent up energy around the situation, which is distracting for work and her other relationships. Rather than respond with a “that’s OK,” she could say, “Oh, I’m bummed. I’ve been looking forward to connecting with you all week.” It lets her colleague know how she feels.

Jenny doesn’t have to speak with anger or an attitude. She simply needs to speak from her heart. For all she knows the colleague may say, “Why don’t you join us?” or “Can you make it work tomorrow night instead?”

On teams, it is important to be straight forward in your response to work and colleagues. It is an important part of maintaining good working relationships. On today’s agile teams, we must juggle multiple projects, deadlines and diverse personalities with constant interruptions and changing priorities.

The most recent research reflects the difficulty many face in negotiating limits on their workload, especially when the request is unreasonable or impossible. Others have difficulties giving feedback without creating discord in their working relationships.

By Dianne Crampton