This is one of the most volatile communication pairings. You’re both used to being in charge and making decisions. When you agree on a problem and a solution, you can implement it very quickly. However, when you disagree, a discussion can quickly devolve into a shouting match.
Quick Tips for Assertor-Assertor Conversations:
- DO remind yourself to be a silent listener for some of the time.
- DO take your loved one’s point of view and decisions seriously.
- DO feel free to treat it like a debate, with each side making points.
- DO recruit an objective ‘moderator’ if necessary.
- DO NOT treat this as a contest, where you must win and your loved one must lose. You are co-presidents here, not opponents.
Communicating Between Leaders Requires Diplomatic Skills
To communicate with a loved one who is also an assertor, it helps to wait your turn. Let your loved one go first, and explain his view of the problem and potential solutions. Then you can have a turn, explaining your view, and your preferred solution.
If you and your loved one have an especially tense relationship, it may help to recruit a ‘debate moderator’ to make sure that you each take the time to listen to the other’s observations and suggestions. Remember, your ultimate goal should be to accompany your loved one as he makes decisions, not to steer him into your preferred path. It’s OK if you need to have multiple conversations to reach a good decision, and it’s fine to get frustrated and walk away for a while. This is not a contest that you have to win.