In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

Assertiveness is key to getting what we want and/or need, but getting it wrong can cost us tremendously…

“When we push too hard, or in an ineffective way, our counterparts may resist giving us the material outcomes we want or our relationships might fray. When we do not push hard enough, we fail to have our own needs met and risk undermining our own well‐being.” (Ames, 2008)

So what do we do when we rely on assertion to get to our desired outcome but each person we interact with will define, interpret and react to it differently?

On today’s episode we break down:

  • What is assertiveness and how does it differ from aggressiveness?
  • How can we properly align our assertive behavior with the situation?
  • The bright side of assertiveness we’ve been neglecting 
  • What (if any) is the difference in assertiveness for females vs. males?
  • Tactics and strategies for being more assertive

Speaking of assertiveness… We’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about how to improve communication in personal relationships. While much of what we share pertains to improving our professional communication skills, all of these same tactics can and should be applied at home. 

If you want a place to practice having a hard conversation with your parents, negotiating with your kids or even just relating better to your spouse, come to our Apprenticeship communication workshops- our next one is in Des Moines, Iowa (April 9-10th). You can also check out where else we’ll be going by going to

Today’s episode is brought to you by two of our partners: 

Dynamic Fitness & Strength: If you’re in the market for affordable, customizable equipment with customer service that won’t be beat, these are your guys. Their team has over 160 years of coaching experience so they obviously know what coaches and athletes want / need; When you’re ready to build that dream facility, or just upgrade your home gym head to and tell them the Art of Coaching Team sent you. 

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Ali Kershner  0:10  

Today’s episode is brought to you by Dynamic Fitness and Strength. If you guys haven’t already heard Dynamic is our newest partner. And these guys are a powerhouse. If you’re in the market for a fully customizable, affordable solution for strength and conditioning or weight room equipment, these are your guys. In addition to having amazing customer service, their team has over 160 years of coaching experience, which I take to mean, but they really know what coaches and athletes want and need. In addition, I was personally impressed by the fact that they are committed to reducing waste in the manufacturing process. But then again, I’m from California, and that kind of thing always impresses me. If you are ready to upgrade your home gym for your full facility, go to and tell them that the art of coaching team sent you. 


Today’s episode is also brought to you by our friends at Versaclimber. Now I know some people might have a love hate relationship with these guys and their product. But I have a love love relationship with them. In fact, I think I’ve used Versaclimbers with every team and at every school I’ve been at. And I can confidently say that no matter the type of athlete, a sport or the level of competition. When it comes to low impact full body conditioning, there is not a more efficient piece of equipment out there. In fact, if someone were to ask me what pieces of equipment I take with me from those places, Versaclimber would absolutely have been an essential, make sure to check them out And again, tell them that we sent you. 


Also, if you’re interested in checking out and supporting our other partners who help us keep this podcast and its content free, go to and you’ll find all the discount codes and links that you need there. Now, without further ado, let’s jump into today’s episode.


Brett Bartholomew  2:16  

Today on the art of coaching podcast, we are talking assertiveness, what’s the difference between being assertive being aggressive? Is there a difference whatsoever? And how can we make sure that we walk that tightrope effectively? That and more on today’s episode


All right, all right. All right, cut it. We don’t need any intro music today. Let’s just get right into it. I’m here with my co host, Ali Kirshner. Ali, welcome back. 


Ali Kershner  2:50  

What’s up 


Brett Bartholomew  2:51  

Listen, a lot. And we got a deep episode. And you’re gonna quarterback this thing, because this is something you have studied relentlessly, you have a lot of deep personal experience about within your own coaching background. This has been one of the most requested topics from our audience, because we know that whether people work in a corporate environment, whether they work in a sporting environment, whether they work in a civic environment, assertiveness is something that they’re going to deal with knowing how to speak their mind knowing how to stand up for themselves, being able to regulate their emotions, all of these things go hand in hand.


Before we dive in just to bring context, though, I know you have a story, in particular about assertiveness, that kind of frames everything up here. And I’d love to hear more about that. And I mean, this is something we’ve never really discussed. So I’m going to turn it over to you. And I’m looking forward to really be in your co hosts in this episode, if anything else.


Ali Kershner  3:47  

Yeah, well, I want to start out by saying that this really could be and maybe it should be three or four episodes, there is so much research and literature on assertiveness. And I think it’s stems from the fact that we all sort of know what it is. But because it’s so different for each environment and each person, there’s so many ways that you can study it. So we’ll try to simplify and give you something super tactical. So you can walk away with this from this episode. And hopefully not feel confused. Although there’s a lot here. 


So yes, I do have a story. It’s a I mean, I feel like it’s a pretty typical story, but it’s very real. And I feel like it encapsulates sort of an experience that everybody has had at some point in their life, which is this is a while ago, I guess. But I was standing in line at Trader Joe’s and I was with one of my friends. And we were just kind of chatting casually. And this guy comes up on his phone, his cell phone, and he just cuts right in front of us in line like no regard for social etiquette just straight cut. And, I’m frustrated because we got places to be, we’re gonna go cook a nice dinner So I wait for him to get off the phone, and I go up and I kind of tap him on the elbow because you know, COVID. And he turns around, more like, spins around. And he looks right at me. And I remember saying to him, hey, I don’t know if you realize, but there’s a line here. And he actually just jumped in front of all of us. And he looked at me and he, scoffed, and then he, we’re in a huff, like, walked away, right? And didn’t even get in the back of the line or another line, he just walked away, because I think he was just kind of embarrassed and maybe put off by my assertion. And my friend turns to me, and he goes, Well, that was aggressive. And I was like, I know, right? And he goes, No, you, you are aggressive. And I was like, What do you mean? And he was like, Well, you didn’t have to say it like that. And I feel like that right There is the problem with assertiveness is that, I think we all understand why it’s important. And we’ve all had moments where we wish we could have used it, or we know it would have been effective, but we don’t really understand the nuance and the skill to it. And we all have different perceptions of it. So you know, I get coaches, like you said, reaching out to me all the time, especially female leaders and coaches saying, how do I be more assertive? What’s the difference between assertive and aggressive? And how can I manage those, just like you said, it’s a fine line. 


So I want to kind of start with, what is the definition of assertive or what is your perception of assertive so that we can start from sort of a foundation kind of really get an understanding here, so I’m gonna throw it to you. How would you define or perceive assertiveness? And we’ll we’ll talk about aggressive later.


Brett Bartholomew  6:47  

Yeah, you know, I’ll go from that. I’ll spin it a little bit, because as we talked about in a recent episode, perception is a whole nother rabbit hole. So I’m going to talk about what I’ve, I wanted to find empirical definitions, which I know you’ve found some to, and it’s good to compare and contrast. And then I’m going to talk about the lens in which I view it for through. So and I’m maybe gonna butcher these author’s names. But first Lang and jacobowsky in 1976 said that assertion involves standing up for personal rights and expressing thoughts, feelings and beliefs. And this is wordy, direct, honest and appropriate, which I think is ambiguous ways which respect the rights of other people. That’s funny, right? Because we often look to empirical definitions to create meaning. That for me, almost is more confusing. I don’t know about you. So I went to another one. And Alberty and Emmons 2008 said that assertiveness enables us to act in our own best interests stand up for ourselves, without undue anxiety, to exercise personal rights without denying the rights of others and express our feelings. Right. So I didn’t really find much in terms of empirical definitions that really helped me. Now what I did find is something that talked about the purpose of assertiveness, which they defined as, hey, this helps us achieve, a lot of interpersonal goals. And so that kind of coincides with my perception, because I’m not going to go through like the nine interpersonal goals this researcher went and talked about. But as I read them, I couldn’t help but understand that the best way for our audience to frame it and for me to make sense of it is remembering that assertiveness is a core interpersonal skill of which falls under communication. And when we think of communication as this collaborative process, it’s not one way, it’s a collaborative process of meaning making, right like we know that assertion Negotiation Communication fit hand in hand. 


So then as I thought about it more my perception and the lens in which I view it to answer your question, especially in contrast to aggression, which we’ll get to later, as you alluded to, is really about managing our emotions, right? So and I don’t mean managing it, like I don’t fall into the camp about like negative emotions are never useful. I don’t fall into the camp, that aggression is never useful. I don’t fall into that camp. But I do think that you have to understand that it’s a communication based skill, and that you have to keep inside you have to keep the goal in mind, but assertiveness for me, it’s like that is when you want to proactively stand up for yourself or manage expectations because it doesn’t always have to be standing up for yourself it could just be to assert which can be part of explaining which can you know, if you look at explain the core word I think is excellent are which means to make clear. And so if I assert something, the difference between somebody perceiving it hopefully between that and aggressive is how I regulate my emotions and you think about like humans, especially we talked about like being the predominant social animal when it comes to conflict resolution. Other animals really have a limited set of cables. abilities, you know, I think of my son who was recently visiting in laws, and he kept going up and kind of hitting the cat. And he didn’t mean to he just like, he’s too, so he’s like cat, well, the cat eventually. And, you know, it doesn’t have this skill set to be able to engage with to say, hey, like, that’s not okay. So it just tends to pop into aggression real quick. Humans, we have a wider toolbox, we have more ways to kind of, walk that line. Now, whether we do that effectively or not comes from our own self awareness. Training, right? This is why you and I always talk about you need to train communication. But from an evolutionary standpoint, we have a lot more sophisticated toolbox in like, fight or flight. And so I don’t want to go too deep now, because some of it will get into the aggression thing. And I don’t want to step on your toes with that, but assertiveness and aggression, and any of these things come into the big differentiator being how we regulate and express our emotions, and how we navigate this bandwidth of that emotional regulation within certain contexts.


Ali Kershner  11:12  

Yeah, no, I think that’s a huge, thing that we’re going to touch on in just a little bit, especially as it pertains to the difference there, because I think you’re spot on, I really do think that one way that we perceive, so clearly, that difference is that emotional piece of the behavior, right, where even the words you can say are exactly the same, but the way it’s delivered and the way even the nonverbals will make it assertive or aggressive. So we’ll touch on that in a second. But you know, what I think is so fascinating about this is that there are a lot of words like this. But words, as you’ve said in previous episodes are sorry, meaning is in people not in words. And we’ve all been taught different meanings of this word assertive, and are then holding each other to the standard that we know. Even though it’s not the standard for that person. So I wanted to kind of pull our audience to see how they defined assertive. So while back in this was actually right after the Trader Joe’s incident, I put a poll on Instagram. Now mind you, people don’t typically interact with my polls very often. I don’t blame them. But this one got like 100 Plus responses, and I just said, how do you define assertive? So, again, 100 plus responses, but there were four main categories of response. So I want to kind of shift from a more empirical definition to what colloquial colloquially, I can’t even say that word. 


Brett Bartholomew  12:46  

Is it a fun word?


Ali Kershner  12:48  

it’s a fun word. Yeah, there you go. Well, we’ll come back to that word. But what what basically, in layman’s terms, somebody might describe it, right. So number one was demonstrating competence and presence when asking for what you or others want or need. Number two, standing up for your values, beliefs, and or others. And this was the key, regardless of the cost. Three was proactively taking action on a task. And four was speaking out within boundaries and without disrespecting others or being close minded. So you see there, there is a variety in what aspects people chose to focus on, some that stood out to me were the presence of others of, this idea of boundaries and disrespect and all that and and that’s definitely where I was like, Okay, we got to pull on this thread, because the fact that we have such different interpretations of this word, and then are gonna go out in the world and try to implement this word. There’s gonna be some messiness here. So that’s where I wanted to kind of jump into this, comparison, because I think comparison is such a valuable tool, assertiveness in a vacuum doesn’t mean as much to me as it does when it’s compared directly to other behaviors, such as being passive or passive aggressive. So before we kind of get into some of the more technicalities of aggressive versus passive, if somebody said to you, hey, how would you differentiate aggressive versus assertive? Or like, how would you coach me on how to be assertive versus being aggressive? Like what comes to mind first for you?


Brett Bartholomew  14:33  

Yeah, I think it ties back to the emotional aspect of it and being clear on a goal. If I think if I want to assert and it doesn’t do the research doesn’t do any favors by even like, when you look at assertiveness, there’s positive assertions and negative assertions and then it’s like this is where academia just gets really weird. And I think sometimes doesn’t really make it positive. A great experience for people to discern it especially when you have something like this. It’s been researched. Since like 1949, but if I’m just going off of my brain, and somebody says that, I would say, Listen, it comes down to the goal, what are you wanting to accomplish? Because there are times, let’s say, I think of the other night, we heard something in the woods by my house, right. And if I saw something, whether it was an animal, or any other kind of threat, and it was making it clear that, I was not in a place of safety, I’m going to assert myself appropriately through kinetics and body language. And if I have to say something, or whatever, that through that emotional regulation, and whatever, that’s gonna, that aggression has a purpose. I’m trying to scare this thing away. And so that’s where I think those lines get really blurry of, I’m going to say, what’s your goal is your goal to create common ground, which is the goal of communication? Okay, then you want to make sure that you assert yourself in this way, with this kind of language with this kind of tone? Of course, that’s gonna change culturally. On the other hand, if you’re threatened, or you feel threatened, or you are trying to intimidate, and there is a purpose for that intimidation, right? Because they’re, I don’t know, maybe it was your life threatening situation or something like that, then here’s what you do.  So it’s so comes down to what is the goal? And then How do you regulate your emotions? I would keep it that simple at first, and then wait for a follow up question. But I just try to think of everyday examples.


 Even if somebody disrespected my boundaries, which happened recently, , it’s a client, it was a client, and there was text after text, email, after email, in my brain Ali, I want to be like, back the hell off, like, I love you, but like, I have a job I gotta do. And when we’re on the clock, I will give you my all. And I don’t mind a text here and there. But like, Yo, you know, especially because the week we’re recording this, my mom was in the ER, and there’s always all these things compounding in all of our lives. So I wanted to say that, and if I would have said what was in my brain, it definitely would have been more aggressive. But where I had to assert was just take a breath, take a walk, manage my tone, and say, Hey, this means a lot to me, I want to help, I can’t be of help in the way that you need it right now. I just need a little bit of space, a little bit of grace, I’ll get back to you within the week, and so I believe that that was assertive and not aggressive, based on me, setting their expectations, acknowledging their needs, managing my tone, and making it clear that their goal is my goal. But there’s a boundary right here, and I need the text and extra stuff to stop. Does that help? Or was that too ambiguous? 


Ali Kershner  17:33  

Yeah, no, I love that. I love that differentiator there and how it’s not, you’re not looking at it as this black and white thing, but like, what are the ingredients almost that are going to make it trend on that spectrum. And that’s what I wanted to kind of mention here is that I think you can put aggressive and assertive on the same spectrum. And people have, there’s actually, this idea of the four communication styles framework in which you have passive communication, which is everybody’s favorite, right? You have basically people avoiding communication when things are in opposition to how they’d like, right, it’s only in that situation, only your needs matter, Brett like, forget me, it’s not about me, then you have passive aggressive, which I think is even worse when passive. That’s when individuals appear passive on the surface, but are really acting out anger and subtle, indirect, or maybe like behind the scenes ways. So you can think of sort of a pendulum swing between passive and aggressive. And then you have aggressive, which is individuals that are expressing their feelings and opinions in a way that in this might be strong language, but let’s just use it for the example violates the rights of others, where it’s only my needs matter. In that moment. I’m taking care of myself to the exclusion of you. And then assertive what I love about this is that assertive then is when we express our needs in relation to there’s so my needs matter and your needs matter. And I think that’s what I love about this conversation is that it’s yes and in which we love talking about in improv, assertive is very similar to flavor of aggressive but with the other person in mind. So when I when I did that same poll, and I now flipped it on people, and I said, Okay, well, what’s been the difference between assertive and aggressive? I got some really cool responses that I want to read out. So I’m gonna not read all of them because there were a lot but there were some ones that I thought were really clean and helped me kind of okay systematize what the thing was, 


So, somebody said, assertive is proactive, aggressive is reactive. Somebody else said assertive is confident, aggressive is defensive. Assertive means you consider the other side aggressive means you don’t assertive is calm, cool, collected, assertive, sorry, I’m sorry, aggressive is angry, hostile and quick to act, which again,  I don’t necessarily agree with all of these. But these were just what people said, assertive is operating within boundaries, aggressive is crossing boundaries. Assertive is negotiating. Aggressive is demanding. And then this one I really liked. Assertive is a dialogue, whereas aggressive is a debate. So I guess I’m curious which of those do you like, which of those do you agree with? Or maybe resonate strongly?


Brett Bartholomew  20:39  

Yeah, well, let me touch on that last one. I don’t think that aggressive I don’t perceive aggressive as a debate, because as we talked about passive aggressive, which is something that I think is one of the most detrimental aspects to communication, that often is not a debate at all, that can turn into a monologue because the other person disengages, right. And that’s why we say the only way for communication to fail is for it, to stop and it to cease. Especially if you look at it, the lens of what you and I have talked about is communication is a tool to bridge the gap of misunderstanding. And misunderstanding is the baseline of all human interaction. We don’t read each other’s minds, you don’t just know what everybody wants. And so that one probably sticks out to me the most for recency bias, but also because I just have a tremendous disdain for passive aggressive behavior. Because that to me, if somebody’s passive aggressive, I perceive it as a lack of respect and a lack of desire to work things out, which again, goes back to the whole purpose of interpersonal skills and communication where I think a lot of them hit on it is, I talked about it earlier. Like how go into empirical research didn’t really help me in some ways make sense of it. But one area, that is where I found, and this was from Owen Harvey, the goals of assertiveness, and I think a lot of these touched on it, but correct me if I’m wrong, they did talk about the main goals served by this skill are to protect one’s personal rights to withstand unreasonable requests. And I like this next one, because it shows you that neither of these things are about like, conflicting situations, also to make reasonable requests, right? If somebody says, hey, I want pizza tonight, and you’ve had pizza three nights in a row, I just say, hey, with all due respect, I would really not like pizzas or another option. I’m just asserting myself that I don’t really want to eat pizza that night. You know, there’s nothing bad about what I just said, to deal effectively with unreasonable refusals. 


So,  that could be anything. I had a friend the other day that said he didn’t want he was having an argument with his wife, because she didn’t want to save something. They’re like 401 K, or she didn’t want to put as much in the 401k. She went in. And he’s just like, Listen, he’s trying to explain like the purpose of that. And anyway, to recognize the personal rights of others. So even if somebody came up let’s say, I found out somebody was infringing on your time beyond what was reasonable, I would just text them and say, hey, you know, Ali loves helping, but she’s super stabbed right now. I just need you to give her some time, she’s got some stuff for us she’s working on. And that’s not me saying, you couldn’t do that, right. But I just, that’s my role. Sometimes I have to make sure to set boundaries, to change the behavior of others, I think of my mother, all right, I think my father’s a dad, you’ve got to get up and move a little bit more. Otherwise, these health issues are gonna keep compounding, I’m asserting that movement is going to be good for a man I’m implying that Dad, I care about you, and I love you. And that’s why I’m gonna assert this, you know, consistently, to avoid unnecessary conflicts. I mean, shit, that’s everything, right. So even if I go in day one on our apprenticeship, our speaker school program, or Brand Builder, and you know, this, I set expectations by acknowledging their needs, acknowledging that we’re going to do everything we can, but also asserting that unless they get directly involved, and actively involved, that it’s probably not going to be a successful weekend, right? And asserting that, like, we can’t do this for you, we’re gonna give you our best. But please make sure you get involved in every way possible to have the best experience. So that is just that’s to avoid an unnecessary conflict. Today on one of our communication training calls, I told the client I said, Hey, much like a telemarketer, you’ll call them and say, this call may be recorded for quality assurance. I said, just I’ll make up the name. Hey, Jim, just so you know, you might periodically see me look away from the screen. That’s just me taking notes, so I can recall everything. Or Hey, Jim, you know, just so you know, boom, like I want to avoid that unnecessary conflict. So I’m asserting which is a part of managing expectations, and then the last two, to confidently communicate one’s real position on an issue, and then to develop and maintain a personal sense of self efficacy. So I thought all of those were super helpful because again, I think that whether we talk assertiveness or aggressiveness, people make the mistake of thinking these are things that only happen in conflict ridden scenarios.


Ali Kershner  24:59  

Hey guys, just a quick Before we jump back into today’s episode, we have been getting a lot of questions about how to build and create stronger personal relationships. Now, obviously, a lot of what we talk about on this show and otherwise, pertain to our professional lives. However, those principles and strategies can absolutely be applied in our personal lives as well. But if you want a place to come practice, how to have hard conversations with your parents, or how to negotiate with your kids, get them to go to bed earlier, or even just relate to and have a better relationship with your spouse, come to one of our apprenticeship communication workshops are next one will be in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 9th, and 10th. And you can find out all the information you need to where to get tickets, etc. At And if I was not your jam, you can also check out our other locations and dates for where we will be going this year at Okay, back to today’s show.


Brett Bartholomew  26:06  

Where whether we talk assertiveness or aggressiveness, people make the mistake of thinking these are things that only happen in conflict ridden scenarios. They are not if I asked you what you want for lunch, and you ardently say I would love Chinese you are asserting that that type of food would really hit the spot that day. And I think that that’s important because we have this negativity bias that frames everything. Because we’re so politicized now. And so everything. No, this is a part of talk, this is a part of natural speak and interaction. What are your thoughts? Did you with your responses that you got? Which ones like kind of hit with you? Or did you not agree with that much?


Ali Kershner  26:52  

No. And I love what you said, I think when you’re considering a skill like this, it’s hard for it not to seem like it’s just everything right? Like when you listed those off, it’s like, wow, assertiveness is literally just talking. But there is a nuance to it, which is it is goal directed, I think it is standing your ground, even light of opposition or somebody with a  opposing viewpoint which everybody has, by the way, even if they don’t tell you, because like you said, everybody starts from a different place. And I think it can be positive or negative. The research even talks a lot about how our,  perception of assertiveness is skewed. And the research also is skewed in that nobody ever studies positive assertion, which is upfront telling you, Brett, you were fantastic today on that podcast in particular, I liked that you were clear and concise. I liked that you addressed this topic, and you use personal stories, that’s actually assertion as well. And so I think this is why it’s like this mind blowing nobody can. It’s this nebulous cloud of skill, but it’s really hard to nail down. And that’s hopefully what we’re helping with today. But I think that some of those differences can help just identify Wait, maybe where there are some similarities between the idea of assertiveness, which again, just to tie a bow on it are that it’s maybe more downregulated in terms of emotion, as opposed to aggressiveness, it certainly involves the other person, there’s a feeling of empathy or considering their side of the story. And it’s maybe a little bit more goal driven, as opposed to aggressiveness, which sometimes is sort of reactionary and just needs to happen, and you don’t really know where it’s gonna go yet. So I think those are where I want to kind of leave that part of the conversation, because we’re gonna get into a little bit more of the weeds here. 


And I hope that you’re ready to have a little bit of fun, because if you didn’t already think assertiveness was interesting, it’s about to get way more interesting. Which is that, according to some researchers, Eames Lee, and was a low EQ, which I hope I’m pronouncing that right. You know, there can be assertive behaviors, and somebody is acting assertively. And then there’s what’s actually appropriate for the situation. And so I wanted to ask you, something that you talk a lot about is the difference between a trait and a behavior, or,  what is something that occurs maybe infrequently, or as a result of the context versus something that’s a little bit more stable. And so, maybe we can remind the audience of what those differences are and then how the difference appears here and that you can be an assertive person. Or you can be a non assertive person acting assertively in a situation that demands it.


Brett Bartholomew  29:43  

Yeah. And just to help manage expectations here, guys, if you want additional resources that really get deep into traits and behaviors, just because we don’t to honor your time with this can’t be exhaustive in that. Check out and shameless plug our online course Bought In if you just go to Bought In talks about this. And even though you’ll hear the term athlete coach, like we’ve said before, and like you can read a book by somebody in any profession that applies, but we talked about these but just at a plain sense, traits are generally defined as stable dispositions, right? They’re things that people are going to. If you know somebody who seems narcissistic, it would be a trait if they’re almost a narcissistic in every scenario, right? They’re the fastest person, they’re the best at math, they’re the smartest at jeopardy, all these things. Behaviors are selectively deployed, right? So you can be an honest person, you literally almost the entirety of your life, honestly, is the best policy to a fault, right. But then there might be a point where you told a white lie, which is a selectively deployed behavior. And that’s an example. You could also just look at to keep that example consistent with the narcissist. There are certain people that are extraordinarily humbled, I think of like the Winter Olympics are on right now. Right. And they’re athletes that are likely very humble people. I mean, they have to be they fail quite often to learn. But they have to believe that they’re the best at their sport or an activity. Otherwise, to have the gumption to compete in the Olympics would really be tough. As a boxer, like I would have to have respect for that opponent, but still the belief that I could beat them, and that I’m the better man in the ring that night. So you can have traits and behaviors are on spectrums, right? Nobody generally and behaviors are selectively deployed. So I’ll just leave that there. To keep it simple. 


The other part of that question, Oh, yeah. So when we’re talking about different kinds of assertion, what you’re really talking about is like, think if somebody’s riding a bike, you need to choose the right gear for the right Hill. And this is what I talked to in my next book as conducive fit, you’re trying to think of, it’s not the person or the scenario or the behavior, it’s the fit between whatever they engage in at that time, if somebody came in, watch me coach, my athletes, and they heard me engage in locker room speak. And they heard me kind of maybe I curse, or maybe I told a crass joke that is conducive fit in that environment with the context of those athletes, that is not how I would behave in another context. And neither of those ways in which I behaved find me as a person, right? It’s overall, this entire spectrum, this overall palette of how you look at that. And so that’s, I want to leave that there to make sure I answered your question. I went deep enough, but I didn’t take people into the weeds.


Ali Kershner  32:36  

No, I think that’s perfect. And what I was gonna actually share a story about when I was a kid, which confused the crap out of me, because of what you just said, the fit of the situation. So, my parents taught me that, when you’re, you’re talking to people, and especially those that are older than you, you have to be respectful. And I think this is a pretty common lesson that parents teach their kids maybe, I don’t know, I’m not a parent. So I have no idea. But anyway, we were in Mexico, on a family vacation, and we were at one of those, like, open air markets. And I remember, we, I looked at a bracelet on a table, there’s like 500 bracelets, and they’re all way overpriced. And the goal of these markets is it’s a bargaining experience, right? Like, That is what is the context of the situation. But as a kid, you don’t necessarily know that. You just know what you’ve been taught, which is that if an adult says something to you, you’re respectful. And you have this one frame of mind in terms of what a negotiation should look like, you don’t have the nuance in the gray area yet. So I remember, that I said, I’ll give you my mom said, Hey, tell them you’ll give them 50 pesos. And so I remember saying, I’ll give you 50 pesos, and he goes, because I think it was like 100 pesos. And I was like, wow, that’s first of all. That is very bold, mom, but I appreciate it. Okay. So I say I’ll give you 50 pesos. And he said, No way, like 75 pesos minimum. And I was about to say, okay, because like, I just wanted the bracelet, right? And I was like, we were getting a deal. And my mom said, no, no, hold on. She like pulled me aside. And she said, I think it would be smart. If you walked away. He said, I’m Thank you. But I’m going to hold at 50 pesos. And if you can’t come down to that price, then we’re going to walk away, which I think is a perfect example of being assertive. Right for the context. However, I did not know that because I don’t have an understanding of the fit yet. Right. So I understand the behavior of being assertive. And I understand, what that could look like, but I don’t I don’t have the ability to see how that situation in that context would demand more assertiveness than a situation which you’re like threatening to walk out on a boss who wants to give you you’re negotiating for a raise? Right. So I think I do just broke down and started crying. And, obviously the whole situation broke down did not end up working. But I think it’s this idea that when you’re thinking about assertiveness, again, to really hone in on Brett’s point, there’s what would be appropriate in that situation and also the level of assertiveness that you are exhibiting as a behavior. So and those have to be in alignment, otherwise, the Fit does not occur.


Brett Bartholomew  35:27  

Well think about what you meant. Yeah. I mean, that story is perfect, because that brings it back to the emotional component. Right? Yeah. Because you, you wanted this thing. And it doesn’t have to be a thing, somebody can want an outcome because we want this because we want to prove ourselves because we have a chip on our shoulder, or if you want a material good, right there. And that’s what I mean, again, being the father of a toddler, right now you see the difference between assertion and aggression real quick, it starts off as assertion, I want to pouch Okay, a little buddy, I’ll get you a pouch. But then after his third pouch, no more pouches. And then that turns into a tantrum, because now that’s aggression, which is a result from a failure to manage, his emotions, right? He’s mad, he wants another pouch, he’s no longer asserting that he wants it, he can’t have it. So now he’s mad, and he gives into his anger. And why using the toddler example, or anything when we’re young, because that’s an easier thing to do, which goes back to talking about our skill set other animals less complex, I don’t want to say less complex, but, animals that don’t have a higher form of intelligence, it’s easier for them, just to go right into that aggressive defense mechanism. Now, there’s evolutionary pieces there, too. But it’s just fun to see this in my son, you know, because he doesn’t have that ability to have reasoned decision, the prefrontal cortex isn’t developed, he can’t self soothe very well, he just knows that he wants what he wants. And so assertive people are a little bit more mindful of those boundaries, they’re a little bit more mindful of like, okay, I’m gonna try it this way. I mean, even the act of not getting into base instinct, so pouting and crying and shouting. by not doing that, you’re showing that you’re more on that assertive part of the spectrum. 


I will say, if I can, like reflect on this where I failed, though, and I’ve talked about this before, there have been times where like, in my personal relationships, even with, my wife, if there are times where I raise my voice, that can be looked at as aggressive. And it probably is, but I know, it registers. And I’ve told you this before, it’s I’ve measured, like the tone with some of these tools. And I’ll tend to do that when I’m sad in the relationship, you know, but that’s still an example of I let that aggression, kind of take over instead of assertiveness. And sometimes it happens, because assertiveness doesn’t always work. And I’ll let you elaborate on it. But I know, there are times where many of us can be assertive. And I think this is many of our clients who are a reflection of ourselves at any point in times. Like, they say, Hey, I’ve tried this, I’ve tried asserting myself, I’ve tried making this clear, I’ve tried setting boundaries, none of it’s working, I’m about to lose my shit, you know. And that’s where I’d say that I just always urge people to not always look at aggression as this bad thing. there spectrums of that as well, and there can be just like, there’s passive aggressiveness, I would think that you can assert yourself in a pleasant way, in a positive way, in a like, in an aggressive way. And sometimes you’re gonna have to do all those. And so anyway, I just thought of that was such a good example by you have the emotions tied to a material good, which then transcends into a little bit of aggressiveness?


Ali Kershner  38:36  

Yeah, absolutely. And what you were touching on there is that, okay, let’s say that you are keeping your emotions in check, your behavior does line up with what we’ve defined to be assertiveness, right, which is maybe a little bit more of a calm, composed approach, you’re taking into consideration the other side, but you’re still asserting your needs. And you’re still asking for something very specific. Let’s say all of that is accounted for. There’s a researcher named Daniel Ames, and he’s looked at the relationship between leadership success and assertiveness, and he describes it as an inverted U. Right? So it’s a curvilinear. Relationship, they’re to how much assertiveness is actually effective, right? And this is really the same with almost anything in life, right? Moderation is the best recipe. But if you think about it, right, if you’re not assertive enough, then you’re not going to get what you need. It’s just plain and simple. And there’s actually a lot of research to show that people that are under assertive are just not as well liked either. Because it’s seen as a passive, it’s again, that passive behavior. Then right there in the middle, is that sweet spot, which is incredibly hard to hit all the time as a leader, but where you’re asking for what you need in a way that’s being received by the people that need it. And then if you push too hard, or maybe you ask too many times or it’s just not a fit, then you risk over asserting yourself, in which case you your leadership is also ineffective? So I wish I could say there’s a perfect formula here and that the more assertive you are, the better the results happen. But that’s just not the case. And you shouldn’t want them to be right like we have on.


Brett Bartholomew  40:16  

Sorry, to interrupt. I wonder, though, because you said something that hits like, I know, we can’t point to research explicitly. At least, I don’t know that I have any in front of me. That says that. What you what you just mentioned that if you’re How did you phrase it? If you’re more assertive, you’re more likely to have success? Is that what you’re saying? There’s nothing that proves that. Yeah. But but if we consider this skill of assertiveness, and we take the literature at its at its face value of to protect one’s rights, right? And all that like that, would posit that you have to have some level of self awareness? How do I know how do I have this idea of these rights that I feel strongly up, and we’re not just talking about, like God, given rights, you know, whatever, like, our personal rights, whatever we believe that to be, or our preferences, right? Like, again, going back to that I want Chinese, he asserts, if you read a book, right, you’ll see those things. So I would say like, you would have to have some correlation with success, because you can’t assert successfully if you don’t have an understanding of self. And I know for a fact, there’s research out there. And sometimes like eff that research, it’s common sense. People that generally are more self aware, have a lot higher likelihood of being more successful in relationships, and in other areas of their life. I’m not saying that people that are just clueless, I don’t want to say a-holes that happen to have connections never make it to the top of the food chain, but they’re not going to experience success in every area of their life. And we know that we know that there’s people that are tone deaf, you know, but like, they may have great business success, but they’re lonely, or vice versa, and whatever. And so that’s one thing that I think we have to be able to draw parallels from is how can I be successful in asserting and accurately asserting what I think I want or need if I have no self awareness? And I think self awareness has to be tied to aspects of success?


Ali Kershner  42:04  

100% I think that that is the missing link that’s not on that graph, right? Because I think you can assert without self awareness, but that’s probably where you have that law of diminishing returns, where no longer are you self aware enough to know okay, maybe I should not assert myself in this situation, and you just continue pushing. And at that point, you’re socially insufferable, right, like you basically, at a certain point, maybe you should just, like hold back on what you want to assert and let the other person lead. And that’s where it’s a dance. It’s like, communication is really, truly a choreographed dance where neither person knows what the choreography is, before they enter the dance, right? Like you’re trying to, like, match up with the other person and who’s gonna lead I don’t know, right, and this is how we sometimes find ourselves in the improv games we play. But I think it’s the same here. Sometimes other people need to be let to lead and give their opinions first. And if there’s no self awareness involved, then you are just going to over and over and over over a certain till there’s no more positive outcome.


Brett Bartholomew  43:07  

Yeah. And I think something else that goes into behavior and trait that you really inspired me to think about too, is I thought about an interaction that I had with an athlete once he was training as a part of a large group, it was me and an intern and about 25 of them. And one of them just seemed kind of detached, and it was kind of a chronic thing. And it was just interesting. And this coincides with people that lead groups or relationships as well. And I remember reading something. Let me pull it up real quick. All right. Yeah. So there was some that said that those who are very socially anxious are more likely to be non assertive, as they have a strong desire to make a good impression, but also doubt their ability to achieve this desired state. This is from two people Suzuki and Sleiman. It says this was confirmed in a study by blankety blank, which found that depressed individuals because I do think that this ties in a man how important it is to look at correlations of mental health as well, right? You and I aren’t doctors, but we don’t have to be to just state what the research is saying here and sound off on it, which found out that depressed individuals rated themselves lower than non depressed individuals on assertiveness, but higher on measures of submissiveness and the need to please others, which I would assert is weird because I dealt with depression as a teenager. And it made me more aggressive now, mainly because I just feel like I was in my own world. And I remember talking to a therapist, and this person was kind of talking through me like I was some illness. And he wasn’t really trying to connect with me. And that pissed me off because this person that wanted to act like they knew me, wouldn’t even talk to me. And so that did not make me more submissive. But I think this is interesting. And then it says, but significantly, yeah, I’m throwing it at it and let me go through this. So it’s found that people experienced most anxiety were also least assertive in verbal and nonverbal behavior. So I think of this I can think of my wife who is she would tell you like she can be a little bit of a people pleaser, she tends to be a little bit more submissive, as opposed to assertive. And it’s funny, there’s times where that gets her in trouble. And then there’s times where, obviously, we know being too assertive can get you in trouble and any of us, but going back to this athlete, he dealt with social anxiety, he and he had told me that like, it even affected him in the locker room like he would go good at his position good in his career at a very long tenure in the NFL, but never really felt connected with other people in the locker room, and he was labeled as a loner. He was labeled as a loner, but he just had anxiety. And that made him look more submissive and detached, which man talk about perception. But I just thought that was interesting as well, because we talked about aggressiveness and assertiveness. But something I didn’t think about until you’ve sparked this conversation was in where does submissiveness go in that aspect of it?


Ali Kershner  45:57  

So it’s so interesting. And this is where it gets fun, because it’s like, there’s just so many places that this could go. And this is why it probably could be a multiple episode, type series. But okay, deep breath, I want to go somewhere. And hopefully, this is well received in that I think this is an important, this is an important topic. And it’s not an easy one to talk about. But I think it’s worth recognizing. So I want to frame this up the right way, which is that as a female, my perception is that and the research happens to support this. So I will, I can cite that if you’d like but that if all else is held steady or constant, my assertive behavior in terms of what I say my body language, and how I deliver an information will be seen and received differently than if somebody that was a male, did the same thing. And it’s true and I want to say it’s true, but it’s supported by the research and that assertive individuals, first of all, are seen as being more competent, but less likeable. And assertive behavior by females is viewed more negatively than the same behavior as males, because females, everybody in the research tends to agree with this, that females tend to be rated higher on likability than males more often than not. And so there’s a mismatch between the likability characteristic of what makes females successful in negotiations and interpersonal relationships. And what assertive behavior tends to represent, which is the opposite of that. So my question to you is, what do you make of this? And regardless of how you feel, because, we know that, I mean, you have three women in your company, you rely on us to be assertive


Brett Bartholomew  47:55  

frame that the other, I’m the only male in my company, right? Right. You’re the only male


Ali Kershner  47:59  

in the company, you rely on us to be assertive, you rely on us to even be aggressive when we need to be if it’s something that is coming at our company and things like that. But we’re like, how do we even broach this topic? And talk about this elephant in the room? Which is that, like, call it how it is? It’s just different to be assertive as a female than it is to be a male?


Brett Bartholomew  48:22  

Yeah, I mean, I’m trying to think of how like, what the question to be answered there is, because there’s a lot I want to say, but I want to keep it direct. Is there an area you want me, let me say this broadly, and maybe it sparks something else? So yeah, I’ll say this, because you you said, I am the only male in my company, and I want you guys to be assertive and even aggressive at times. And I want to be clear, one that just makes for a healthy workplace, you know, male or female, but to like, I’m a pretty confident guy, you know, like, if you are assertive or aggressive with me, whichever. I’m just somebody that has positive views of getting to the point and having, I’m not scared of conflict, I’m not scared of those things. I want people to be honest. So I’ve looked kind of beyond that of saying, the most important thing is that we have a great workplace that is focused on efficiency and effectiveness. And that requires people just saying what they mean to say, and that requires us to all be adults and take that for what it is, you know. So I think sometimes our perceptions of this male or female or some of my own expertise in this is more about looking at regional analyses of these things and how cross culturally it can be a little bit different. You know, I think some of that does come back to our confidence. I can even think about it even more broadly. I have always been more attracted to women, and this is out of the work context, okay. But like I’ve always been more attractive to women and just people who are more upfront with who they are and what they want. And I think that ties into my like, urgency of life and I’ve talks about like how I’ve always had this idea that like, Hey, we’re not here long, let’s not bullshit, let’s not waste each other’s time. I don’t like people that play those kinds of games. And so like, I just think there’s this bigger global construct. So I’m gonna say that broadly, and then I’m gonna flip it back to you and see if there’s a more direct question that like, yeah, yeah, go ahead.


Ali Kershner  50:19  

Yeah, I realized I didn’t really, I didn’t really quarterback that one very well, I just sort of throw it into the ground for you, and hope that you would catch it.


Brett Bartholomew  50:26  

I blew it. I blew it. 


Ali Kershner  50:28  

Um, let me let me go back to that story at the beginning that I told you. And I think what surprised me the most was that I had a male friend turned to me and said, Whoa, that was aggressive. And to me that one, I was trying so hard. It even rehearsed it in my mind what I want to say this guy, because I am very aware of how these things can come across. So I had even rehearsed it, I thought about it, I was self aware about it. And I asserted myself, because I didn’t want this guy to cut me. And also he was being rude. And it was received the wrong way by both people. In fact, the my friend and the guy that I was speaking to. And so in that moment, what happened internally, was that, suddenly I was like, questioning my assertiveness, should I do that in the future? And it almost like, unconsciously made me not want to do that.


Brett Bartholomew  51:24  

Oh, yeah, you should do it here. Here’s one thing I would say. And this is totally just an outcomes razor thing. And a thought he might have said that, because I mean, it’s not very common to hear people use the term assertive anyway, you know, say like that. That was aggressive. I mean, he may just not one, it might have just been like a jackass moment where he didn’t even mean anything about it. It was just it’s a term that is more likely to flow off the tongue. I mean, I think about it, and I’m more I probably use the term aggressive more than I use assertive in my life anyway. I think that it’s tricky. Like, I would never think that. And that’s why my answer is so biased with that, like, I mean, we’ve spent a lot of time around each other. Have I ever?


Ali Kershner  52:12  

So let me jump in here with a question then. Because you do balance it really well. I’ve never had an experience communicating with you where I felt like an assertive behavior was met with like, whoa, right. But, I mean, let’s be honest. And I did have responses from females say, what between what was the difference between aggressive and assertive? It’s many people responded to that with that, it has to relate with the perception of the person. That’s, doing the


Brett Bartholomew  52:42  

That’s awesome. That helps a lot. Yeah, cuz now I can put myself in that a little bit of like, and we’ve talked about this, and I’m a male. But I talked about in one of my previous workplaces, because listen to My voice and look at my appearance. I remember I had a big conflict with an employee that was like, Why are you always so aggressive? And just because I’m built the way that I am in my beard and the way that I talked, and because when I’d run this group, you know, I’d yell and it’s a bit, it’s a 10,000 square foot weight room, and I was just like, this, wait a minute, I’m trying to project my voice. And I’m trying, I have to command the room. And there’s a lot of like, big personalities here. And so it’s a, this is tricky circumstances now, because I’m not trying to sit here and say, I understand the female plight, but I do understand what it is to be misrepresented in that I mean, even when I took improv classes, I think I told you, I was, we’re doing a game where you were supposed to literally state things in a more assertive voice. And I didn’t feel like I was being enabled, you were supposed to be loud, you’re supposed to be loud, you’re supposed to be silly, and whatever. And every time I did it, you know, the guy that ran it was like, Yo, this isn’t the weight room, you’re not spotting somebody on the benchpress. Yet, somebody else that was, you know, in this theater group for many more years was doing the same thing. And he didn’t say anything to them. And so I can appreciate what it’s like to be labeled because man, woman, black white, like we all get labeled. And it doesn’t need to turn into like the competitive affliction Olympics. 


But like, a lot of it’s just has to do Ali if I can be completely honest, with people suck at understanding other people. And so they projected their own shit on everybody. And they use the wrong words at the wrong times, and they don’t understand their feelings. And it gets messy and misinterpreted. And then we all take it personal and it sucks. And there are guys that I’m just speaking plainly here. There are guys that are always going to label a woman as that because those guys probably are just not confident in themselves. And they’re going to want to control it. Just like there are other people who find other ways to manipulate perceptions of it. And it’s made me almost think about I’m saying this totally comedically if we did like a segment on this show every day. Why did people suck episode on this segment? Why did people suck and generally just comes down because there’s no shared understanding because everybody communicates like shit. You know. And so, yeah, I just think I’m so opposite. And I can reference my past experiences in this, I had a strong willed mother, who I always looked up to as a strong leader, I was not intimidated by that at all. I worked at sororities in college, I was one credit away from a minor in women’s studies, I’ve always been fascinated and comfortable around women, and not everybody is and not everybody’s even comfortable around themselves. And so a lot of times, it’s that other person’s problem, I think the thing that we can do is we have to make sure we don’t feed into that shit. You know


Ali Kershner  55:37  

Yeah, that’s exactly I was gonna say, to wrap a bow on this, because I don’t think it’s worth, over analyzing this, it’s you said it perfectly. It’s like, if you’re doing it correctly, and we’re going to talk about how do you actually do assertiveness better if you’re wanting to work on that. But  if you’re taking into consideration and you’re thinking about it, like I was, and you do something, and it’s not received? Well, first of all, it’s not your responsibility to worry about or try to control other people’s reactions to your assertion or to your boundaries or to anything, really, if you’ve done them to the best of your ability, and it’s coming from a good place. That’s first thing I’d say, second, if somebody is offended, or they have a bad reaction, like my friend did, or that guy did, says way more about them and their insecurities than it does about you. 


Brett Bartholomew  56:24  

So true. Yeah, so, people’s anxiety and their feelings and all that could be so a could be addressed so much more simply, if they just remember that it says so much more about the other person, just recognize that and then if you let that infect you, then you’ve got to step back and be like, alright, where am I the problem, and you’ve stated that perfectly bow wrapped.


Ali Kershner  56:51  

Okay, cool. So to leave people with something super actionable, and something that they feel like they can write down, take notes and leave this episode feeling like they have a better idea of how to be a more assertive person, if they’re not, or to maybe check what they have been doing in terms of is that appropriate for assertive behavior, I want to give you guys some takeaways. First, I would say is, identify the fear, if there’s a fear of holding you back from what you’d need to say or want to say, because I think it starts internally, it’s like, I told you, I was now worried that what I was gonna say was going to come across the wrong way. And like that fear was keeping me from being assertive even before I was assertive. So I think that’s number one is identify what’s holding you back. Number two is have a clear understanding of your values and why you believe what you do. And in my case, with the guy cut in front of me in line, it’s not like I was willing to die on that sword. But at the same time, like I value my time, and I value my efficiency, and also like, I’m sorry, like, that’s sort of crossing just like a social etiquette line for me. Number three, develop an understanding, like we said, of the fact that you can’t control other people’s behavior. And by the way, you’re not responsible for the reaction to your assertion. Number four, is keep a place or keep a space for discussion, collaboration, open mindedness, I think this is where people tend to go wrong, is they assert something, and then the conversation is done, as opposed to inviting that person in for a dialogue or to ask their opinion, or to have some sort of open minded discussion around it. Number five speak with respect and acknowledge the difficulty of the statement. So I think this is where meta communication comes into play. But if especially if you want somebody to interpret something, in a better way, it can help to say, look, this is going to be hard for me to say, this is not an easy thing to talk about for me. But this, I feel like this needs to be said, you know, you can start with these almost, I don’t want to call them softeners, which is sort of what they are. But you can speak respectfully and still firmly, while acknowledging that other person. And then The last one that I would say is, if possible, and it’s not always possible is speak calmly, and slowly. And I think this helps me, not like emotions get the best of you when there’s something really important and specific that you want to get out. Anything you would add to that set of tools, or what would you suggest in addition?


Brett Bartholomew  59:28  

Yeah, more of just No, I think those are all great. I think another thing they can do, and I’m trying to it’s funny, I’m going back through some old notes of something that helped me, it helps him do it via another medium. So when I was reading, for example, that assertiveness happens, and I’m reading down this list, when making reasonable requests, what I did then is I practice examples of reasonable requests. so for example, one that I wrote down I don’t know when I did this was Could you please stop yelling at me, right or Would you please pass this? I’m hungry. What time are we going to the movie? We might be late, you know, whatever. And then I looked at refusing unwanted or unreasonable request, I started writing examples of what that might look like asking others to change their behavior. What did I put here? Please don’t? Oh, yeah, can you? Yeah, I’m not going to read that one because I was obviously, but like asking others to change your behavior could have been the example I gave my dad. Hey, Dad, could you ordered ribs? Like last night? Could you maybe eat something a little healthier for breakfast this morning, right? My dad’s a type two diabetic and everything. But it could be like, hey, Liz, could you please quit hogging the sheets, anything like that. I’ll give one more example, expressing disagreement or negative feelings. So the point is, is categorically think about a way in which you assert and then write down five examples of what that assertive statement might look like. 


And if somebody is a visual person, go grab a book off a bookshelf, especially one where they talk about, there’s dialogue involved, you’ll see people be like, so and so and so ask Steve, Diane asserted, no, it’s over there on the bookshelf, see how it’s used in the written world. And I think that that’s something that’s always really fun to kind of drive clarity, because then as to Ali’s points that she made so well, throughout all of this, that term doesn’t have to mean something was so much grab a toss, right saying, pass the mustard that you are asserting that you would like muster, that you and which is just a form of stating, which is all a form of communicating. And hopefully, this just lends credence to many of you guys that are listening of why we keep saying, You need to train it, you need to train it, you need to train it, you know, we assert that because this stuff is very hard. And clearly we don’t do it well as a society. And that is the biggest reason. 


And so I just want to encourage you guys, and Ali is going to get all the last words here. But please just keep an open mind and go to Again,, we give you many different outputs for working on being a better communicator, and thus a better leader, whether you want to work on conflict resolution and negotiation. Great, we assert that the apprenticeship is best for you. If you are building your own business, you have an entrepreneur type thing, but you really don’t know how to like, stand, get yourself out there, you’re scared of kind of putting yourself out there, you’re trying to find your voice, we assert Brand Builder is best for you. If you want to be a better presenter, and you just want, it doesn’t have to be speaking more eloquently, it just more confidently more clearly and connecting with others, we assert that the art of coaching speak in school is for you, then all of these are available at And, just give us the opportunity, I think that you’ll find that if you dive into this, it can be scary at first. But these are welcoming environments. And it gets pretty addictive as you start to learn more about yourself. Because once you get these tools, it really helps you in your relationships with yourself with others with those who lead. And I think for me, it’s just led a lot more understanding and compassion, as opposed to leading to aggression. Because Oh my God, why does everybody act like this, you see things through a different lens.


Ali Kershner  1:03:22  

I think that was a tremendous assertion set of assertions that you just had there. You know, I think we’re so obsessed with giving people tactical strategies and things that they can go take and apply right now. So I just want to offer one more. And I think it’s so important to practices in low stakes. situations, like Brett said, before you try to apply them in a high stakes negotiation where you’re trying to assert how valuable you are to a company. So something that I’ve tried in my personal relationship is to continue the conversation with positive assertions. And that sounds like kind of weird, but I’ll explain. So if one person says, Hey, what do you want for dinner tonight? The rule is that you have to continue the conversation somehow with an assertion. So that could be Hey, you know, I had sushi last night. What do you think about pizza tonight? And then the person can’t just say, Well, I don’t care. So then the next person has to say, you know, pizza sounds great. I’d like Hawaiian Barbecue or whatever. That’s the type of pizza. I’m not Hawaiian. That was separate cuisine. But, maybe the other way that conversation could go is, hey, what do you want for dinner tonight and be like, You know what, I’m really not hungry. But I’m happy to go with you to whatever you want. But I think asserting yourself and little micro situations like that can really help just build confidence in sharing what you want or need in a way that’s respectful and also takes into consideration the other person. So that’s all I got. I thought this was really fun. Maybe everybody else is now thinking of me as a massive assertiveness nerd which I’m totally fine with you Call me Ali, assertive Kershner. And, yeah, I think this is maybe we’ll do part two sometime.


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:06  

Yeah. And guys, we’d love your feedback. We can’t make everybody happy. We know that we’re really trying to dive into more and more and more self that enables us to have the conversations we need to have to deal with aspects in our life that are not always black and white, which is most things and remember, communication of all kinds is most important when things go wrong. And in life, they generally do so make sure that you’re practicing this stuff continue to nerd out. Continue to tell us what matters to you. For Brett Bartholomew Ali Kershner the art of coaching. We outta here

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