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Assertiveness in the Workplace Discussion Session.

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Presentation on theme: "Assertiveness in the Workplace Discussion Session."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assertiveness in the Workplace Discussion Session

2 Assertiveness Quiz On a piece of paper, number from 1 to 10. Write your choice a, b, or c after each number.

3 1. You are in a restaurant and order a steak medium-rare, but it is served to you well- done. You would: a) Accept it since you sort of like it well-done anyway. b) Angrily refuse the steak and insist on seeing the manager to complain about the poor service. c) Call the waiter and indicate you ordered your steak medium-rare, then turn it back.

4 2. You are a customer waiting in line to be served. Suddenly, someone steps in line ahead of you. You would: a) Let the person be ahead of you since he/she is already in line. b) Pull the person out of line and make him/her go to the back. c) Indicate to the person that you are in line and point out where it begins.

5 3. After walking out of a store where you purchased some items you discover you were short-changed. You would: a) Let it go since you are already out of the store and have no proof you were short-changed. b) Go to the manager and indicate how you were cheated by the clerk, then demand the proper change. c) Return to the clerk and inform him/her of the error.

6 4. You are in the middle of watching a very interesting television program when your spouse/flat mate comes in and asks you for a favor. You would: a) Do the favor as quickly as possible, then return to the program to finish watching it. b) Say "no," then finish watching your program. c) Ask if it can wait until the program is over and, if so, do it then.

7 5. A friend drops in to say hello, but stays too long, preventing you from finishing an important work project. You would: a) Let the person stay, then finish your work another time. b) Tell the person to stop bothering you and to get out. c) Explain your need to finish your work and request he/she visit another time.

8 6. You ask a petrol station attendant for five dollars worth of petrol. However, he fills up your tank by mistake and asks for twenty dollars. You would: a) Pay the twenty dollars since the gas is already in your tank and you will eventually need it anyway. b) Demand to see the manager and protest being ripped off. c) Indicate you only requested five dollars worth of petrol and give him only five dollars.

9 7. You suspect someone of harboring a grudge against you, but you don't know why. You would: a) Pretend you are unaware of his/her anger and ignore it, hoping it will correct itself. b) Get even with the person somehow so he/she will learn not to hold grudges against you. c) Ask the person if they are angry, then try to be understanding.

10 8. You bring your car to a garage for repairs and receive a written estimate. But later, when you pick up your car, you are billed for additional work and for an amount higher than the estimate. You would: a) Pay the bill since the car must have needed the extra repairs anyway. b) Refuse to pay, then complain to the Motor Vehicle Department. c) Indicate to the manager that you agreed only to the estimated amount, then pay only that amount.

11 9. You invite a good friend to your house for a dinner party, but your friend never arrives and neither calls to cancel nor to apologise. You would: a) Ignore it, but manage not to show up the next time your friend invites you to a party. b) Never speak to this person again and end the friendship. c) Call your friend to find out what happened.

12 10. You are in a group discussion at work which includes your boss. A co-worker asks you a question about your work, but you don't know the answer. You would: a) Give your co-worker a false, but plausible answer so your boss will think you are on top of things. b) Do not answer, but attack your co-worker by asking a question you know he/she could not answer. c) Indicate to your co-worker you are unsure just now, but offer to give him/her the information later.

13 SCORE INTERPRETATION KEY In general, there are three broad styles of interpersonal behavior. These are: a) Passive, b) Aggressive, and c) Assertive. a) The Passive style of interpersonal behavior is characterised by inaction. People utilising this style tend to be easy to get along with and pleasant, but unwilling to stand up for their rights, for fear of offending others. They are very uncomfortable expressing anger and usually deny or suppress this feeling should it occur. As a result, resentment can easily build under the surface producing stress and tension. In time, these people learn to fear close relationships because they have no way to protect themselves from the petty annoyances and inadvertent intrusions that occur in most relationships. The "a" choices in the quiz are representative of the Passive style. Thus, the more "a" choices you made, the more passive you are. Six or more "a" choices suggest you are probably passive in your interpersonal behavior.

14 SCORE INTERPRETATION KEY b) The Aggressive style is characterised by intrusiveness. People who utilize this style tend to go after what they want, but are unconcerned about how this will effect others. Their angry, dominating manner tends to alienate people who, in time, may seek to oppose them. Aggressive individuals are usually suspicious of others and are often on the look out for infractions or violations of their rights. Thus, the Aggressive style produces stress and prohibits the development of close, trusting, and caring interpersonal relationships. The "b" choices in the quiz are representative of the Aggressive style. Thus, the more "b" choices you made, the more aggressive you are. Six or more "b" choices indicate you are most likely aggressive in your interpersonal behavior.

15 SCORE INTERPRETATION KEY c) The Assertive style is characterised by both fairness and strength. Assertive individuals are able to stand up for their rights, but remain sensitive to the rights of others. People who choose this style are usually relaxed and easy going, but are honest about their feelings. This is the best style for minimising stress and maintaining long-standing intimate relationships. The "c" choices in the quiz are representative of the Assertive style. Thus, the more "c" choices you made, the more assertive you are. Six or more "c" choices suggest you are probably assertive. Look at the "c" answers again. If you move your everyday behavior closer to the "c" style of response, you will likely experience an increase in feelings of self-esteem and a decrease in feelings of stress.

16 Topics Covered Four Approaches to Communication Three Stages of the Listening Process How Say It Assertively Speaking Positively

17 Styles of Communication Passive Passive/Aggressive Aggressive Assertive

18 Passive Communication Soft voice Overly agreeable, no point of view expressed Avoidance Withdrawn body language Sound unsure Beat around the bush Sound hopeless or helpless

19 Some Passive Messages “Uh…if that’s the way you want to do it…um, that’s fine with me.” “I don’t know if I could do that.” “I’ll talk to him soon about that problem; I’ve just been really busy.” “I’m sorry to ask you.” “I hate to bother you.” “Maybe that’s a good idea.”

20 Passive/Aggressive Communication Appears to agree but really does not agree Tells others but not the source of the concern Makes subtle digs and sarcastic remarks Keeps score, sets conditions Non-verbal message contradicts the verbal message Holds back expressing concerns or providing assistance Criticises after the fact

21 Some Passive/Aggressive Messages “ I knew that wouldn’t work.” “If that’s the way you want it…” “How could you even think that?” “ When was the last time you helped me?” “The problem with Joe is…”

22 Aggressive Communication Blaming, accusing Intimidating body language Demanding, ordering Raised voice Harsh, personal language Verbal browbeating

23 Some Aggressive Messages “You must…” “Because I said so.” “You idiot!” “You always…” “You never…” “Who screwed this up?”

24 Assertive Communication Takes responsibility Takes initiative Listens actively (do not interrupt!) Speaks up, is direct and constructive Shows sincerity Is solutions focused Assumes a confident voice and body language Addresses concerns directly to the source Requests needs

25 Some Assertive Messages “ Yes, that was my mistake.” “As I understand your point…” “Let me explain why I disagree with that point.” “Let’s define the issue and then explore some options to help resolve it.” “Please hear me out and then work with me to resolve my concern.”

26 Communication Style Scenario You have just received an important assignment with a tight deadline from your Boss. You know that you need assistance from Sue, a co-worker, to get it done. Identify the following communication styles and pick which you think would be best.

27 “Sue, look, I’m in a jam right now. You need to help me get this critical project done right away! I don’t have time to hear that you’re busy with something else. That excuse just won’t fly. So come on, sit down and let me show you what I need you to do.”

28 “Hi, Sue. I hate to bother you. I know you’re probably busy with a lot of other issues right now. I have one of those tough assignments. If you have a chance, maybe you could lend me a hand for a little bit. But, uh, its okay if you don’t want to.”

29 “Sue, I know you’re the type who doesn’t want to put yourself out too much. Hey, I’m just kidding. But look, when you were in a pinch last week, who helped you out? That’s right-me. So look, I’m in the same boat now. Don’t worry, I won’t have you do most of the work anyway.”

30 “Sue, I was just assigned a critical project that needs to be done in a week. I would appreciate it if you could lend some assistance. The project involves an area in which your experience will really come in handy. What I’d like to do is take a few minutes with you now or this afternoon to determine what time and support you can lend and to fill you in on the needs of the project. Does that work for you, and if so, what time can we meet?”

31 Don’t confuse aggressive with assertive. Aggressive Blunt Harsh in tone Blame and Browbeat Push for your own way One-way conversation flow Assertive Direct Firm in tone Collaborates on solutions Speaks up, yet hears others opinions Two-way conversation flow

32 It Isn’t Just What You Say, But How You Say It Non-verbal Assertiveness

33 Eye Contact Make steady eye contact Maintain eye contact Look in the right places

34 Eye Contact Pitfalls Staring and glaring Looking away and all around Darting glances Blinking excessively Focusing in on one person Glazing over

35 Body Language Posture Facial expressions Gestures

36 Body Language Pitfalls Slouching Invading space Hovering over the listener Looking blank Looking stern Displaying threatening gestures Folding your arms Exhibiting distracting habits

37 Set the Tone Project your voice Show inflection in your voice Display sincerity in your tone

38 Vocal Pitfalls Sounding uncertain Being too soft-spoken Mumbling Being to loud Dropping your voice at the end of a sentence Sounding Monotonous Putting people down with your tone Having harshness in your tone Speaking too fast Using excessive filler sounds

39 Assertive Communication is Not a guarantee Not another “should” Not negative Taking charge of oneself Middle ground style An active expressive focus

40 3 Cs: Confident, Clear, and Controlled Confident: You believe in your ability to handle the situation and are composed. Clear: The message is easy to understand and is not exaggerated. Controlled: You are “tracking” the other person and modulate yourself if necessary.

41 How to Promote the 3 Cs … try these statements… “We can work this out.” “I trust you and respect you.” “I can express myself clearly and confidently.” “What I believe matters.”

42 Assertive Communication - ACTIVITIES In Scenarios 1 and 2, practice Assertive Communication with your group. Person 1 initiates Assertive Communication. Person 2 responds within role-play. In Scenario 3, practice Assertive Communication with a partner.

43 Communication Scenario 1 Participants Role-play in Group: One of your fellow co-workers keeps using your iPod without your permission and running down the battery.

44 Communication Scenario 2 Participants Role-play in Group: One of your clients has not paid an outstanding account which they promised to remedy last week. You need to telephone them to follow up on the late payment of their account.

45 Communication Scenario 3 Participants Role-play in Pairs: In pairs, practice Assertive Communication in the following scenario: (Person 1) You are an electronics supplier at a company called Electronics Online. You are currently working on an urgent problem. All the other staff are off sick and you have been left to serve online customers. You receive a phone call. (Person 2) You work in an electronics company. You ordered some electronic components a week ago and you want to know why they haven’t arrived. You would like your ordered products to be ready and sent to you by this afternoon. Call Electronics Online to explain the problem and ensure they rectify it immediately.

46 Debrief What did you learn from this activity? What if you use Assertive Communication and still don’t get what you want? What if you use Assertive Communication and the other person doesn’t react positively?

47 Assertive Communication: Applications When is Assertive Communication appropriate or not appropriate in the Australian workplace? What gets in the way of Assertive Communication? How will your work relationships benefit through the use of Assertive Communication?

48 Check on Learning What is the skill? Assertive Communication is a method of communication that is Confident, Clear, and Controlled. When do I use it? Use Assertive Communication when confronting someone about a conflict or challenge (and is the most appropriate style in that situation). How do I use it? Use the IDEAL model: I = Identify and understand the problem, D = Describe the problem objectively and accurately, E = Express your concerns and how you feel (when appropriate), A = Ask the other person for his/her perspective and ask for a reasonable change, L = List the outcomes.


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