Passive Leaders Can Be More Assertive

Working with a Coach Can Help You Become More Assertive

One of the skills that almost all Leaders can work on is assertiveness. Effective leadership requires an assertive approach for most situations. Therefore, leaders who are passive most of the time often don’t address issues that arise and often avoid conflict instead of addressing it.

If you operate in a passive way most of the time, don’t worry! Passive leaders are capable of becoming more assertive and moving their behavior toward the center of the Assertiveness Continuum; just as aggressive leaders can shift their aggressive behavior to become more assertive (and more centered on the Assertiveness Continuum).

Having a passive or aggressive leader is de-Energizing to employees.

If you’re working with a Leadership Coach (Executive Coach), they can support you in striving to become more Assertiveness.

Your Coach can help you identify beliefs, thought patterns, or past experiences that may cause you to act passively so that you can address them head-on. And, examining and dispelling the causes of your behavior can permanently change your leadership approach to be more effective.

Passive Leaders Can Be More Assertive

In the video below, Sherri Cannon, PCC, Executive Coach and Donna Schilder, MCC, Executive Coach & President discuss how passive leaders can become more assertive.

Passive Leaders Can Become More Assertive

Passive Leaders Can Be More Assertive – Video Transcript

Donna Schilder, MCC, Executive Coach:

So we had a hospital leader, high up, who was too passive and knew it. By the way, the passive leaders have a tendency to know it more than the aggressive leaders.

Sherri Cannon, PCC, Executive Coach:



Some don’t, but mostly people give people feedback about being too passive, so they hear it. I want to say that I was too passive and I had a journey where I was able to change. And a lot of our coaches have been too. The fact that we can change means we know how to help you change. So that’s really important.

Passive Leaders Often Neglect to Address Their Department’s Concerns

But the passive leader didn’t bring up her ideas, didn’t represent her department’s interests and it just made things not work well. And in this case, the passive leader was possibly getting a demotion. So, she had to step into being more assertive. It may take longer sometimes for the passive person to move into being assertive. But it can be done, and it’s really great work. We love doing it.

The Effects of Being Passive on Your Career


How, over the course of time, if that passive leader doesn’t recognize it, how might being so passive impact their long-term career? Demotion might happen, but anything else?


Well, yes, demotion or they may get passed over to go up to the next step. And a lot of leadership development comes to us with the individual coming to us and wanting to work on being more assertive and being a better leader so that they do get promoted because they see that they’ve been passed over. And sometimes they can be fired, too. So it’s not a good place to be.

It almost seems like every step you make forward into the next level of leadership, you need to step into being more assertive. And smart companies do this – they get a coach for new leaders so that they can work on these skills and shift because you have to be a different leader in each level of leadership, for sure.

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With Our Consultations Coach: Vicki Rich, MBA, ACC (BIO)
With Our Consultations Coach: Vicki Rich, MBA, ACC