Photo by Voka.
As we mentioned last week, compassion isn't the same thing as niceness. You can be compassionate without being sugar-coated, especially when it comes to dealing with difficult people you work with. The same applies for assertiveness: you can be assertive and up-front without being aggressive and overpowering, and the people you work with will appreciate the difference.
Over at Focus, Guy Farmer gives us an excellent list of tips to keep in mind when you're trying to walk the line between the two, including making sure you're always up front with what you need and when, and open when people tell you the same, and to try not to be attached to your preconceived notion of how things should turn out.
The list is great, but it's more important to remember that being assertive isn't the same as being rude, or putting your interests in front of everyone else: it's just about letting people know what you need and what work needs to be done in a direct way. How do you manage to make sure your colleagues know what's expected of them from you without making office enemies? Share your suggestions in the comments.