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Managing Group Dynamics Methodical Assertiveness By Leslie L. Miller, Lecturer W231 Professional Writing Skills.

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1 Managing Group Dynamics Methodical Assertiveness By Leslie L. Miller, Lecturer W231 Professional Writing Skills

2 Understanding Assertiveness Definitions –Assertiveness is a style of communication that is learned –Assertiveness is a type of dialogue –Assertiveness is interactive –Assertiveness is standing up for your rights as a human being –Assertiveness is based on the premise that “if you behave in certain way[s], something predictable will occur” (Barnette).

3 Understanding Assertiveness The Goals of Assertiveness –Assertiveness aims at helping people to not give in when it comes to expressing their needs and feelings –Assertiveness seeks “win-win” solutions (Tufts) –Assertiveness chooses to be an “agent of change” (Tennessee State Employee Assistance Program)

4 Jo Slater, Deputy District Health Promotion Officer of the Central Nottinghamshire Health Authority: “It is a quality and behavior which expresses a belief that each person is... important enough to be recognized and acknowledged and have [his or her] needs responded to. Assertiveness as a quality and behavior therefore demands the use of specific interpersonal skills, i. e., a person giving expression to her rights, thoughts and feelings in a way which does not degrade, insult or interfere with the reasonable rights of others. I see these definitions of ‘assertiveness’ as being synonymous with ‘personal effectiveness’” (338).

5 Objections to Assertiveness It is rude It is selfish It is repackaged aggression

6 True Assertiveness It allows all voices to be heard, and no one gets walked all over It moves the members’ goals and the agenda along, and no one has to be a doormat It gives team members the language to discuss, evaluate, and make decisions about group problems and issues, and no one is left behind.

7 What are the benefits? It develops your ability to constructively –say “no” and refuse requests –ask favors and make requests –express positive and negative feelings –initiate, continue, and terminate any encounter in which you do not feel comfortable

8 When and where is it beneficial? When disturbing behavior is worth bringing up When not being assertive is harder than putting up with a behavior At planned times set for such a discussion In private discussions when both parties are calm

9 Who needs assertiveness? People in conflict Team members Committee members Families Public officials Teachers Students ? ? ?

10 The Language of Assertiveness Four parts of assertive conversation –Statement of empathy/validation –Statement of problem –Statement of what you want –Restate what the other person has said in response

11 The Language of Assertiveness Accomplishing Assertiveness –Use facts, not judgments –Use “I” statements –Express ownership of your thoughts, feeling, and opinions –Make clear, direct requests –Face the other person –Repeat back or rephrase what another has said

12 Examples To the chronically late team member: “Our meeting was for 10:00. We started the meeting without you. I must admit I get upset when you are late. I want you to have a voice in our decisions, so how can we help you be on time?

13 Another Example To the team member with late work “The team agreed last week that the AB submissions would come in today so they can be compiled. We have to turn in the completed AB on Tuesday. I really don’t want our project to get a bad grade, so I need to have your AB section by 1:00 today. Will you be able to do that?

14 References Barnette, V. (2000). Assertive communication. Retrieved October 10, 2006, from University of Iowa, University Counseling Service Web site Berstein, L. (2005). Do you hear me? Current Health, 32.4, Retrieved October 10, 2006, from EBSCOhost database. Dwairy, M. (2004). Culturally sensitive education: Adapting self-oriented assertiveness training to collective minorities. Journal of Social Issues, 60.2, Retrieved October 10, 2006, from EBSCOhost database. Kennedy, P. J. (2006). Assertive Communication: An Introduction. Retrieved October 10, 2006, from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Counseling Services Web site ODT Tip sheet. (2002). Retrieved October 10, 2006, from Tufts University, Organizational Development & Training Web site Reap the benefits. (2004). Retrieved October 10, 2006, from State of Tennessee, State Employee Assistance Program pdfhttp://www.tntech.edu/hr/Training/fle pdf Slater, J. (1990). Effecting personal effectiveness: Assertiveness training for nurses. [PDF Version]. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 15, Retrieved October 10, 2006, from EBSCOhost database.

15 Practicing Assertiveness Divide into teams of three. For each scenario, one member needs to record the practice and lead the discussion and two need to engage the activity. There will be three scenarios, so each member can rotate his or her position. At the end, the class will consider the activity.


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