A short read for leaders. Curated by Brian Cooke and published biweekly on Fridays. Free.


Empathy and Assertiveness

In most negotiations, achieving a winning agreement requires a mix of leadership assertiveness and empathy.

Assertiveness is needed to ask, persuade, and at-times fight for your own beliefs, interests, and ambitions.

Empathy is essential to understand and respect other stakeholder's beliefs and proposed solutions without judgement.

Here are five keys to strike an effective mix of leadership assertiveness and empathy:

Expect conflict. Prepare to be assertive by clarifying your most significant beliefs and expectations. Make a list of key points. Practice stating your positions with confidence and appropriate force.

Recognize your tendencies to ignite, invite, accept, or avoid conflict. Choose a negotiating strategy that is suitably firm without unnecessary confrontation or concession.

Encourage other stakeholders to state their beliefs and positions before you do. Listen to understand without judgment or criticism. Make it clear your understanding does not necessarily indicate agreement.

Know all stakeholders' BATNA - "Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement."  Prepare to battle or walk away while building a bridge for future understanding and agreement!

Stand with Ukraine!

~ bc


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