Research Outline

Manager To VP- Best Practices


To provide a deeper dive into one of the most common executive challenges from our previous report; assertive leadership

Early Findings

Being assertive was as, if not more, important than having good judgment for those seeking leadership roles. Leaders who were rated as high in judgment but low on assertiveness had just a 4.2% chance of being rated effective in leadership.

Assertive leaders are also perceived to be more honest and higher in integrity than less assertive leaders.
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that more harm is done when people aren’t assertive enough than by being too assertive in a leadership role.

One of the most powerful characteristics this study revealed, was the assertive leader’s ability to push back against the company hierarchy and thus innovate and take on challenging issues.

Assertive leaders also foster effective collaboration by feeling enough courage to express the less popular points of views in team discussions, allowing ideas to thrive.

Assertive leaders were also found to communicate more often, and more passionately, making it more likely for them to effectively deliver a message.

Psychological studies show that assertive people in general experience less anxiety and are able to be firm without being perceived as rude.

Assertiveness was so highly ranked that a scale was developed to measure it called the Functional Assertiveness Scale (FAS), which measures assertiveness as a method of appropriate self-expression.