Last year when I went to BossedUp Bootcamp we had an entire module on assertive communication. It was glorious and helped me to imagine myself as someone who could speak about hard things or deliver less-than-ideal news and never even break a sweat. The facts would be on my side! The module also gave some really good strategies for communicating assertively and not aggressively that I really appreciated. All in all, I learned a lot.
And then this week happened. This week that contained the deadline to pay tuition for the Fall 2018 semester and my learning was tested. Overall, I think it’s fair to say that I enjoyed some success. Higher education is expensive and I think that educating students about how to pay needs to be approached with sensitivity and a (relatively) comprehensive knowledge of payment options. But sometimes the only thing you can say is pretty blunt and it may not go over very well.
In those times, you learn that there are times when having the facts, even when they’re gently presented, on your side will not lead to a good outcome. There are times when people will attack facts with emotion and will come after you personally.
It is those times that I have to learn to be okay with. A personal attack isn’t always personal.