So far we have emphasized the need for the school leader to consistently be supportive, open, and authentic in fulfilling his duties. Without diminishing the importance of acting in these ways, there are times when the school leader must make a stand and assert his beliefs and ideas. There are also individuals with whom the school leader must interact who are difficult, demanding, sometimes aggressive, and simply disagreeable to work with. Those difficult individuals, too, may require an assertive approach. In this chapter we will focus on situations in which the school leader needs to assert his position. We will also consider the skills and approaches that will assist the school leader in working with especially difficult individuals.
First, let's consider this scenario: