Responsiveness and Assertiveness

There are four leadership styles that are delineated by two axes. The y-axis is called Responsiveness.

The x-axis is called Assertiveness. These axes are each a continuum upon which a participant places themselves based upon the following two questions:

Responsiveness: Do you tend to be more relationship-oriented or more task-oriented?

Assertiveness: Do you tend to initiate interactions or do you wait for others to initiate interactions?

Responsiveness is the degree to which one is seen by others as showing his or her own emotions or demonstrating awareness of the feelings of others.

Assertiveness is the degree to which one’s behaviors are seen by others as being forceful or directive.

When these two intersect, it creates four general areas of leadership styles:
• High Responsiveness/High Assertiveness
• High Responsiveness/Low Assertiveness
• Low Responsiveness/High Assertiveness
• Low Responsiveness/Low Assertiveness

We will discuss each style individually. But first, let’s do a bit of activity to see where you see your own preferences.