– People who are seen by others as getting assertiveness right, often mistakenly think they’ve gotten it wrong.
In 2014, there was a study by some students at Columbia Business School, and they found that 57% of those who believed that they were appropriately assertive in their requests, their negotiations, their conversations, they were actually seen by the other party as not really very assertive at all and not really very demanding at all. In other words, more than half didn’t ask for enough.
On the other hand, those who believe that they’ve been overly assertive, overly demanding in their requests, they often fall victim to believing they’ve crossed a line, they’ve gone too far, they’ve overstepped their bounds. And the result is that they backpedal. They try to smooth things over. They try to acquiesce, accept a lesser deal. And that’s a bummer, because in the study, those who were assertive and demanding were often then interpreted by the other party as being very fair, very appropriate.
According to the research, we should go for it. We should ask for a little more, we should not back off. And we should not feel badly about what we do ask for. The research tells us you can ask for more, and you are probably more valuable than you think.