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Is It Assertiveness or Ego? How to Tell the Difference

Is being assertive something you're proud of, or just a way to cover up your ego?

When does your strong voice start to make you feel alone and isolated?

Yes, assertiveness is your mark as a strong leader. It reflects your inner drive, a testament to your achievements, and a powerful tool in your arsenal for success.


While assertiveness can be a sign of power and accomplishment, it's crucial to recognize how it can be attached to your ego.

People around you associate you with bold and decisive speech and actions. And you like it, don’t you?

However, assertiveness, a force for good, can quickly tilt into domineering overconfidence, aggressive behavior, and isolation.

It happens subtly—a tone that turns forceful, a stance that becomes uncompromising, a focus so intent on power that it erodes your relationships.

Is that you?

Ask yourself:

  • Do my colleagues seem at ease when contributing ideas?

  • Does my leadership style invite collaboration or compliance?

  • Am I listening with the intent to understand or to respond?

  • Am I overlooking feedback that could change my viewpoints?

These can turn revered, decisive, and influential leadership to being intimidating and underappreciated.

This Assertiveness Impact Chart provides a visual guide through the pitfalls of over-assertiveness and the benefits of its well-developed counterpart. Check it out and see where you stand!

From Assertive to Influential

As an assertive leader, you can have a significant impact. The challenge lies in ensuring your assertiveness opens doors rather than closes them.

Here is what to pay attention to:

  • Impulse Control: Identify moments of impatience or impulsiveness that you regret. Make a list of the triggers for these moments, like stress, unexpected situations, or team conflicts. Recognizing these triggers can help you prepare better responses or avoid them in the future. Imagine how you would have handled the situation differently, focusing on more controlled actions and practicing it.

  • Aggression Control: Set personal or team guidelines to identify when your behavior is veering towards aggression. For instance, if you interrupt others during a meeting, establish a rule like apologizing to the person you interrupted and remaining silent until it's your turn to speak.

  • Flexibility Control: Recognize your "flexibility thresholds," Before discussions, know what facts or reasons could change your mind. For instance, if you prefer a spring product launch but others suggest winter, consider what data might persuade you to agree. This approach helps assertive leaders make decisions faster and avoid getting stuck in strict arguments.


By understanding the nuances of assertiveness, you can become successful and truly influential and avoid the costs of missed promotions, income losses, decreased productivity, and emotional distress.

Are you opening doors for others or building walls around yourself?

Dear assertive leader, know that with isolation and decreased relationships, you’re not that powerful after all!

There is more to you that can greatly impact your organization and the people you work with, so don't miss out on shining as you deserve.


You're an Alpha Leader - brilliant, driven, formidable. But what about the emotional landscape of leadership? It can sometimes strain relationships and team dynamics.

Here is where I come in.

Together, we'll shape you into an Empathic Alpha Leader, where strength meets understanding, and decisiveness pairs with empathy.

Start your journey to empathic leadership today.

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