In today’s busy working world, knowing the difference between how to say ‘no’ assertively and aggressively (or passive aggressively) can make all the difference.


We’ve all experienced aggressive, overpowering types – and we know what it’s like to feel pushed to the edge, to the point where you momentarily become angry or frustrated.


Likewise, sitting passively by, letting others walk all over you can be not only demoralising, it can mean being passed over for promotions and not being taken seriously. Passive aggressive won’t work either, because people understandably get fed up with games and now knowing what you’re really thinking.


It’s a tricky balance to strike. So how do you learn assertiveness?


The good news is: assertiveness is a learnt skill. It’s not something we are innately born with. It’s just that some people were fortunate enough to learn it from their parents, employers or in training and development.


In short, it’s down to learning the right language, and exploring the areas that you are finding challenging to be assertive in. When you understand the ‘how’ and the ‘why’, the rest is practice.