← blog

Decisiveness does not require belligerence !

Mastering the art of solid success and long term relations


Berfu Aksoy

If you can’t resolve your inner conflicts and project them onto others, you probably won’t read this article after seeing the title ; ) 

But for those who are still here, let me share some insights with you. In a world full of wars and violence, I think it’s time to draw a clear line between decisiveness and belligerence. In politics, leadership, and business, many people mistakenly think that being decisive means being belligerent. 

In my opinion, this is just a sign of ignorance or narcissism. Many people, in their quest to make firm decisions, may be influenced by Hollywood movies and series or by their ego that craves power at any cost. They end up being aggressive and confrontational, and justify bullying and violence as legitimate means to achieve their goals. 

Let me be crystal clear from the start – decisiveness does not need belligerence. In fact, the ability to make clear, assertive decisions without resorting to hostility is the mark of not only an effective leader but also a truly respectful person. I’m sure those who have experienced a “one-man show” in their company or country know what I mean by truly respectful person. 

You’ll discover that mastering this skill is not only essential for your personal and professional growth but also for creating harmonious relationships and a more peaceful, productive world. 

Decisiveness is the foundation of effective leadership, personal empowerment, and efficient problem-solving. It involves making choices with confidence and clarity, often in the face of uncertainty. However, the confusion between being decisive and being belligerent stems from the misunderstanding of assertiveness. 

Being assertive means expressing your thoughts, feelings, and desires in a direct and respectful way. It’s a vital quality that everyone should cultivate for effective communication. Decisiveness, on the other hand, involves making choices and taking responsibility for them. These two qualities can work together beautifully without turning into belligerence. The first step in mastering decisiveness without belligerence is to understand the psychological factors behind both qualities. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, plays a key role in finding the right balance between decisiveness and belligerence. It’s almost a fact that high EQ and self-esteem create heroes and leaders, while low EQ and self-esteem create sociopaths and dictators. So guess why we are stuck in wars all over the world. So who do you want to be? A solid peacemaker or a tyrant to your team, your family, your company or your country? Self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy help you recognize your emotions and their impact on your decisions and interactions. Communication skills and knowledge are the tools through which you deliver your decisiveness to the other side without causing tension. To avoid being seen as belligerent, you need to have a good understanding of communication styles and strategies.

Active listening is the cornerstone of effective communication. It is the easiest and free way to learn what the other side knows and thinks about the subject. By engaging with others genuinely, you show respect for their viewpoints and build trust. Just rephrase and ask clarifying questions to make sure you listen to understand their perspective. It’s that simple! To master the art of decisiveness without belligerence, you need a balanced approach. Accept and understand that every person you interact with has their own thoughts, feelings, motivations, and persona. You don’t need to put yourself in their shoes, but if you show them you understand their way of thinking, you may find a solution even better than you imagined or decided. I know we are going through tough times everywhere around the world, personally, politically, economically, and environmentally. But did you give up on yourself? Or on the future of our children?

Let’s be honest, we may complain about the actions of bully politicians but we can’t change their attitude in one minute. However, we still have the power to change ourselves to be more decisive and respectful to others. We can show them how we want to live in this world with high consciousness and high core values. Use your decisiveness as a quality that will impact people positively, not to harm others. You never know when or under what conditions your paths would cross with those you hurt.