Going aggressive vs. being assertive

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.

One of the big lessons to come from this year’s political battles has hardly been noticed in the press, but it’s such an important aspect of conflict resolution that I think it deserves a public airing, right here, right now. We’ve heard enough chest-thumping, seen enough fist-pumping, and have no need for another talking head blowing off steam with vigor – even if they never find themselves even briefly in the neighborhood of answering the question they were asked.

It’s time that we reviewed the difference between being aggressive and being assertive. One is meant to intimidate an opponent, while the other is used to advocate a position. Put another way, the former is dangerously close to belligerence, although the latter might be reasonably described as emphatically explaining a particular perspective. [Read more…]