Do you ever think about how you react to things? I think the ability to recognise what behaviour to deploy for certain situations (especially during times of high stress or pressure) is a really great trait to have. Even more so in the workplace when you have influence over others and responsibilities to uphold.

Have you ever thought about how you are perceived by others?
How do you handle situations of high pressure and high stress?
Do you often have to deal with aggressive, passive or manipulative behaviour?

I think it''s fair to say that I would be lying if I said that I react well in situations 100% of the time. But have you ever thought about what type of behaviour style you have? One way to recognise how you react is through the "Assertiveness Model".

Are you ever aggressive? Passive? Manipulative? Assertive? Do any of the following behaviours remind you of anyone?


The Assertiveness Model

Aggressive people want to win even at the expense of others.
They are concerned with their own needs, not the needs of others.
They are often blunt, loud and interrupting types of people who might be sarcastic, patronising and critical of others.
It is never their fault and they always know that they are the most important. (Although often have little self esteem).

Passive people are often quietly spoken.
There is little eye contact and more than likely just they agree with what is being said in order to avoid conflict and perhaps will not express their feelings.
These people are worried about what others may be thinking of them, so give in easily to please everyone else.
They can be indecisive, vague, apologetic and put themselves down.

Manipulative people want to get even without confrontation.
This is usually done through things like emotional blackmail and making others feel guilty for not recognising their needs.
They use gestures, like rolling eyes, and indirect means, instead of using words, to get their own way.
The body language they use is often contrasting, like looking annoyed whilst agreeing to do something.

Assertive behaviour shows through open, honest and direct communication.
Assertive people can stand up for themselves but also respects the rights of others.
They are not dependent on others for approval through self esteem.
They have a self reflective nature and can accept their own positive and negative qualities.
More often than not they listen to others and show understanding and acceptance.

When written down and read back it is so obvious that assertive behaviour should be adopted by everyone on planet earth!


From our experience at Nine Dots Development (and from our personal lives), we have seen so many managers and leaders showing signs of aggressive, passive and manipulative behaviours, which we do not feel is the right way to manage. The behaviour shown by managers is often adopted by those that respect and look up to them. Our entire mission is to help organisations and managers get it right, here are some statistics of the cost to business of poor management:

Research by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Leadership and Management in the UK

  • Ineffective management is estimated to be costing UK businesses over £19billion per year in lost working hours
  • 43% of UK managers rate their own line manager as ineffective - and only one in five are qualified
  • Nearly three quarters of organisations in England reported a deficit of management and leadership skills in 2012. This deficit is contributing to our productivity gap with countries like the US, Germany and Japan
  • Incompetence or bad management of company directors causes 56 % of corporate failures

As you can imagine, the consequence in business of having people operate like that in a team is expensive. They affect people''s decision making, contribution levels, morale and can turn good, productive workers into people who don't like coming to work.


There are people like this in quite literally every company and I bet you''re thinking of quite a few people who are like this who are not so far from home...

I''m sure everyone has experienced managers in their lifetime with these behaviours... I know I have. Previous jobs that I enjoyed doing suddenly became a chore for me. Dealing with people who were a nightmare to interact with always left me feeling low, nevermind unproductive!

However, on the flip side, it'''s been the people around me who are responsible for me wanting to stay at other jobs. It''s a great feeling working at a place where your manager really does seek to understand you shows it.

Honing assertiveness skills within teams is a very progressive thing to do and can have a really positive effect within your company.