2Learning outcomes Define assertiveness Recognise aggressive,passive and assertive behaviourIdentify workplace situations where assertive behaviour is appropriate
3PlanWhat is assertiveness?ExercisesAssertiveness in the workplace
4What is assertive behaviour? Stating your needs,wants, opinions or beliefs in direct , honest and appropriate waysAssertive behaviour needs to be compared to its alternatives: aggression and passive behaviour. In a sense assertiveness occupies the middle ground between these two extremes.
5What is passive behaviour? Failing to state your needs, wants, opinions, feelings or beliefs in direct honest and appropriate ways. Stating them in a way that others can easily disregard them
6What is aggressive behaviour? Ignoring or dismissing the needs, wants, opinions, feelings or beliefs of others. Expressing your own needs or wants in inappropriate waysHaving looked at these three behaviour types it is important to realise that none of us can be assertive all the time. The aim is to become more assertive. A truly assertive person can recognise the “right” not to be assertive if that is their choice in a given situation.
7Six guidelines for being assertive Decide what you wantSay it clearly and specificallySupport what you say by how you say itDon’t be manipulated or sidetrackedListenAim for a working compromise or “win win” situationIt would clearly be impossible to plan every response in advance but where you know you have an important meeting with someone it is worth thinking in advance what you want from that encounter.Be clear, direct and specific on what you want, feel or think. Use I statements so as to take ownership of what is said. Don’t apologise or explain excessively.Don’t be manipulated or side-tracked. If necessary repeat in a calm but firm way your original request. In some text books you will find this technique called “broken record.” It’s used a lot by politicians when facing critical interviews.Being assertive is not only about getting your own way. It’s also important to listen to what the other person is saying. Where there is genuine disagreement the aim if possible should be to find a working compromise that is at least acceptable to both sides.
8Assertiveness at work Reprimanding or criticising a member of staff Delegating an unpleasant taskHandling work overload from your bossPerforming well in meetingsDuring appraisalsResolving conflictsHandling sales representatives from other firmsGraduate jobs involve many situations in which assertiveness is an asset. Many companies include assertion training as an element in their graduate training programmes.The role play which follows is built around some of these situations.