BE A DRAGON
I am of the belief that when confronted with aggression at work, fighting back with more aggression is not the way to go. I believe that your behavior should never be in question.
HOWEVER, I also believe that everything has a place. You don’t have to be in a combative or violent situation with another human being to exert aggression. For example, you want a promotion! You have to aggressively go after the position and salary you want.
Lessons from Game of Thrones
So what would Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen, Queen of the Dragons do? In last week’s episode of Game of Thrones she was being advised by Tyrion Lannister to be assertive but diplomatic…”you don’t want to be queen of the ashes,” he tells her. As the episode progresses, Daenerys has a one-on-one with Lady Olenna Tyrell.
Olenna comments on how Tyrion is a clever man and that Olenna has outlasted many of his kind by not taking their advice. In dramatic fashion Olenna tells Daenerys that the Lords of Westeros are sheep but Daenerys is a dragon…be a dragon (Blogpost: Game of Thrones Season 7 Ep 2 Recap – Stormborn).
Be a Dragon at Work
- You must be in control. I don’t think I need to tell you that out of control aggression can only ruin your reputation or get you fired even arrested. Have you ever seen a dragon lose control of their fire breathing? Nope! They focus on the target.
- You must understand the purpose of the aggression. Do you want to start a small campfire? Or do you want to take over a kingdom. Dial up the fire as appropriate.
- You should be able to look at yourself in the mirror or at least look at your reflection in the lake.
Now of course this is just a metaphor for really going after what you want in a way that can put you on the map. I liken this to my philosophy on humility. It has its place! But interviews and moving ahead at work require you to leave your humility at the door.
Assertion vs. Aggression
What I’m about to say is probably not what you’re expecting. Same thing for assertion – assertion has its place. When you are dealing with another human being, assertiveness is probably more appropriate. When you are going after the bigger and better, aggression may be the way to go. You have to aggressively go after clients or recruit the freshman class. The competition is fierce and there are plenty of sheep out there. But there aren’t many dragons. So be a Dragon. #BeADragon
You got this!