. Some people cover up their anxiety by adopting an aggressive,combative front. They will not listen to ideas and suggestions, they regard reasonableinstructions as harsh orders, and they automatically deny responsibility if criticized.They may even reject positive encouragement, imagining it to be part of some involved plot to get the better of them. In these circumstances, all dealings with the boss becomeantagonistic, and all interactions are seen as battles to be won or lost.
. Other people find that any encounter with the boss wafts themstraight back to childhood, when they were dependent on the powerful peoplesurrounding them. Everything the boss says must clearly be right, all criticism must bevalid, any mistake must be of their making.Even when the boss invites their opinion, they feel unable to give it. If they ever have anidea, they assume that it is too simple-minded to mention. So they keep quiet atmeetings, keep their heads down, and avoid their boss at all costs.
Being indirectly aggressive.
Some employees react inwardly rather than outwardly.They seethe with resentment or discontent, but seldom give open expression to such afeeling. They will not seek a confrontation with the boss, but neither will they avoid oneif it arises. They may be clever and witty, but in a sarcastic, cynical, or bitter way.Indirectly aggressive employees are rarely honest about their feelings and views, so their relationship with the boss might look reasonable well balanced. But it is not. They are better at criticizing than proposing. They may say one thing to the boss, and another totheir colleagues. Their energies disperse in negative and carping comments.
The positive approach
. As a subordinate, you can adopt a positive approach to authoritythat allows you to be yourself, to accept praise for your strengths, and to learn frommistakes. This approach is usually called assertiveness.A word of warning: don’t be put off by the word
. Assertiveness, in this contextat least, is not a matter of stamping your foot and shouting. That is aggressiveness.Assertiveness means being firm but polite, determined yet flexible. The truly assertive person can be quiet, almost unnoticed – yet supremely effective in pursuing a rationalcourse of action.When you act assertively in this sense, you take the positive elements from aggressionand submission – aggression in dealing with unnecessary obstacles, submission inaccepting necessary limitations and in exercising self-control.Assertiveness essentially means approaching situations expecting to negotiate with othersas an equal; being aware of your own rights, but also being prepared to listen and respondto other people sympathetically. The result should be an easier, more productive, and lessstressful life.