What Determines Focus and Assertiveness


What determines focus and assertiveness?

In Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst, Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner identify four intents that determine focus and assertiveness.

Key Take Aways
Here are my key take aways:

  • People focus. From a people focused perspective, there’s two ends of the spectrum – get along and get appreciated.
  • Task focus. From a task focused perspective, there’s two ends of the spectrum – get the task done and get the task right.
  • Conflict is a usually a conflict in expectations or intents. Identifying someone’s intent helps you understand behavior,improve interaction, improve responses, and reset expectations as necessary.

The Four Intents
Brinkman and Kirschner identify the following four intents:

  • Get the task done.
  • Get the task right.
  • Get along with people.
  • Get appreciation from people.

What Determines Focus and Assertiveness
Brinkman and Kirschner write the following:

“Every behavior has a purpose, or an intent, that the behavior is trying to fulfill. People engage in behaviors based on their intent, and do what they do based on what seems to be most important in any given moment. For our purpose, we have identified four-general intents that determine how people will behave in any given situation. While these are obviously not the only intentions motivating behavior, we believe they represent a general frame of reference in which practically all other intents can be located.”

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