Are you an assertive leader in your food truck? Overly assertive bosses can be seen as bullying and overbearing. But, vendors who tend to hold back may be considered wimps. Good bosses find a balance between the two. This doesn’t mean you should try to be moderately assertive all the time. Instead, be prepared to use both approaches in different situations.
How To Be An Assertive Leader In Your Food Truck
Here are some specific ways to expand your assertiveness:
- Communicate with your team. The visual image of many highly assertive leaders is of a steamroller. They simply smash everything in their path. The most successful assertive leaders, take care to communicate with their entire staff. They make themselves accessible to everyone. They also spend the time to communicate clearly and personally about changes.
- Give good feedback. Feedback delivered in the wrong way can discourage, demotivate, and anger an employee. Feedback that is offered with sensitivity can encourage and guide people toward success.
- Lead change. Positive change rarely happens passively. Change requires the vendors to challenge the status quo and find new ways of doing things to further their business goals. It’s nearly impossible to lead change without some measure of assertiveness because in most cases, even when change is generally viewed as positive, some kind of resistance still needs to be addressed.
Your food truck staff may need you to challenge them to accomplish a particularly tough goal. Or you may need to be more passive to let them step up. Be flexible. Use your emotional intelligence to determine when being assertive will be motivating rather than stifling, and laying low will be appropriate rather than discouraging.
Being an assertive leader is an excellent quality that compels people to achieve more. You can be assertive without crossing the line to obnoxious and pushy.
The Bottom Line
Many vendors struggle with being assertive enough, whether through self-doubt, a lack of confidence, or a fear of not being liked. By itself being an assertive leader may not be a singular secret weapon trait, but data shows that it is a highly valuable characteristic. Food truck owners who are perceived as being more assertive are also perceived as being more honest and having higher integrity than those who are not.