There is a fine line between assertive and pushy but the line is there and it moves around too. It moves depending on the person that you’re talking to. If the person is receptive to an assertive approach than being passive will only frustrate the person as they don’t feel that we giving them the service that they want.
Likewise if we use an assertive approach with more passive people they will feel that they are being pushed into something that they may not be ready for.
How do we determine who is open to which approach is the secret and this is more art than science.
What is the occupation?
How do they speak to us? Are they assertive themselves or are they more passive?
These are not always direct indicators of their most receptive communication styles, but the answers can give us hints to what type of communications they are open too.
Indecisive people are the most difficult to determine but when it comes to indecision, the assertive approach will get them to either take action or quit wasting everyone’s time. It is hard to fire a client that we have invested a great deal of time in but it is better for everyone if we just let them go and move on to others that can make a decision.
Indecision is also masked as detail oriented or some other term that means ” I don’t know how to make a decision” which is yet another way of saying. “I need help” which is why we have jobs. Listening and repeating ourselves is part of what we have to do with people who we want to help as they create road blocks. But they need our help.