Presentation on theme: "Assertiveness in the Workplace Discussion Session"— Presentation transcript:
1 Assertiveness in the Workplace Discussion Session
2 Assertiveness QuizOn 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 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 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 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.SCORE INTERPRETATION KEYIn 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 characterized by inaction. People utilizing 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.b) The Aggressive style is characterized 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.c) The Assertive style is characterized 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 minimizing 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.
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 ProcessHow Say It AssertivelySpeaking Positively
17 Styles of Communication PassivePassive/AggressiveAggressiveAssertive
18 Passive Communication Soft voiceOverly agreeable, no point of view expressedAvoidanceWithdrawn body languageSound unsureBeat around the bushSound hopeless or helplessLow volume, hard to hear. Agrees with you to keep everything nice. Thinks the way to deal with a concern is to avoid dealing with it. No direct eye contact. Does not present a confident posture. Uses language such as “ perhaps, maybe, or hopefully”. “I don’t know if this idea will help.” They never state the point clearly and directly. You may hear a lot of I cant's and I don’t knows such that no plan of action or possible solution is introduced. “I tried that once, but it didn’t work, so what can you do?”
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 agreeTells others but not the source of the concernMakes subtle digs and sarcastic remarksKeeps score, sets conditionsNon-verbal message contradicts the verbal messageHolds back expressing concerns or providing assistanceCriticises after the factOne of the common behaviors of passive-aggressiveness is that the speaker sounds as though he or she is going along with or agreeing to something, but his or her actions that follow don’t show support or commitment. Instead, the passive-aggressive speaker claims that any agreement was actually a misunderstanding, or the speaker carries out actions that are contrary to the supposed commitment. They do not deal directly with concerns about others. Complaining about that person to other people- behind that person’s back- is a common way to handle concerns. Many a truth is said in jest, especially by passive-aggressive communicators. Put-downs are concealed with sarcasm. When the speaker uses no sarcasm, his or her tone may be condescending and hurtful to the person hearing it. Often the passive-aggressive speaker expresses displeasure not through words but through nonverbal means, such as rolling the eyes, shaking the head, or making sighs of disgust. Cooperation comes with limitations or conditions. Memories are long and forgiveness is short. Another tactic of the passive-aggressive is to settle the score by giving you the silent treatment, not showing up when help is needed, sabotaging your efforts behaind the scenes, and sending harsh messages via . Stated words sound positive, but body language or tone of voice gives the words the opposite meaning. “Everything is fine” means that something is wrong. “Nothing is bothering me” means that something is bothering me. “That’s a good idea” means that it isn’t and so on.Witholds information or other forms of support when others can use it to get a job done. In addition, he or she holds emotions in, although you may get a sense of them in the speaker’s body language or from implied negative messages. Nothing is said directly, and when asked about a concern or issue, the response is usually “Never mind,” or “ No big deal.”Second-guessing or Armchair quarterbacking. After an event or action has taken place, they respond with what you should’ve done or what you did wrong- sometimes even when you requested input beforehand and he or she gave none. This communication style is very quick to pass judgement.
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, accusingIntimidating body languageDemanding, orderingRaised voiceHarsh, personal languageVerbal browbeatingAggressive communicators are quick to find fault and focus on the wrongs that the other person supposedly committed. Pointing fingers, moving closer to you, getting in your face to argue a point, or pounding on a table with his or her fist. They tell you what you MUST do. Voice gets louder and the tone becomes sharper. Aggressive communicators focus on the person more than the issue. The language is often filled with a lot of you insuts and, at times, with profanity. Tact or diplomacy is tossed aside. When you disagree with an aggressive communicator, it often turns into a competition. The way to win is not to listen, to interrupt, talk louder, and verbally attack the other person.
23 Some Aggressive Messages “You must…” “Because I said so.” “You idiot!” “You always…” “You never…” “Who screwed this up?”
24 Assertive Communication Takes responsibilityTakes initiativeListens actively (do not interrupt!)Speaks up, is direct and constructiveShows sincerityIs solutions focusedAssumes a confident voice and body languageAddresses concerns directly to the sourceRequests needsNo excuses, no woe-is-me language, no blaming others for problems. Assertive communicators are responsible for his or her own actions. They accept what has happened and focus on what needs to be done next. If something need to happen, he or she takes the initiative to get the process rolling- no waiting for others what to say what to do and when to act. Assertiveness allows for two-way conversation. Show a willingness to hear the other person out and understand his or her point of view. If a point needs to be made or a thought needs to be expressed, an assertive communicator speaks up. He or she states the point directly without beating around the bush. Assertive speakers use language constructively; that is, they communicate the message in the best way possible and make the point clearly. The language4 focuses on the issue at hand. When you express yourself sincerely, you say what you mean and mean what you say- and do so with respect for others. In problem situations, an assertive person takes a problem-solving approach. He or she examines the problem, not ot blame or find fault with anyone but ot understand the issue and move toward developing a solution. Creating the solution becomes the main focus in working with others. The voice of an assertive speaker sounds strong, certain, and firm when needed. Posture, gestures, and facial expressions support his or her message. He or she sounds and looks alive when speaking, coming across nonverbally as positive and enthusiastic to an appropriate degree. Assertive people address issues directly to the source as opposed to telling others about the problem. No browbeating or blaming occurs. The assertive person ASKS for or requests what is needed, unlike the Aggressive who demands or orders.
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 “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.”Aggressive approach.
28 “Hi, Sue. I hate to bother you “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.”Passive approach.
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.”Passive/Aggressive approach.
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?”Assertive approach.
31 Don’t confuse aggressive with assertive. Aggressive Blunt Harsh in tone Blame and Browbeat Push for your own way One-way conversation flowAssertive 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 Assertive speaking is about delivering your message in a positive, direct, and confident manner while maintaining respect for the person or persons to whom you are expressing that message. Nonverbal tools can greatly impact how your message is expressed and received by others. Your words alone-that verbal stuff- aren’t the only component of speaking. In fact what you say is important, but how you say it often carries more weight. Most people haven’t been taught how to truly listen; therefore , you can’t count on them to listen fully and effectively when you speak to them.
33 Eye Contact Make steady eye contact Maintain eye contact Look in the right placesThe idea is to look at people when you’re talking to them. Steady does not mean constant staring. Look at your listener’s face, near the eyes. PRACTICE: Ask someone to receive your message and give your message while giving steady eye contact. Now repeat the same message while looking away most of the time. Which message evokes a more favorable response.
34 Eye Contact Pitfalls Staring and glaring Looking away and all around Darting glancesBlinking excessivelyFocusing in on one personGlazing overStaring and glaring can be interpreted as aggressive. Little of no eye contact causes listeners to drift away. Darting glances create a distraction to the listener and may cause them to lose the focus of your message. Blinking excessively may give the appearance that you lack confidence in your message, and in the blink of an eye the receiver will too. In meetings when your eye contact stays with only one person, the other listeners feel isolated and left out. This can happen when you are overly absorbed in your own thoughts or when you lose your train of thought. Once is no big deal, but have it happen more than that during a conversation and you appear to have tuned out you won message. Don’t expect other to tun in if you’re not doing so yourself.
35 Body Language Posture Facial expressions Gestures Posture is how you carry and position yourself. Sit up and face your receiver as a means of expressing your message assertively. It is also helpful to lean forward a bit as well. Most important interactions take place while you’re seated. PRACTICE: Sit up right now. What do you notice? You’re more alert. Lean a little forward with it and you have a more commanding presence to go with your message. Although you can’t see your face when talking, unless you are looking in a mirror, you can tell what your face is doing. Your face communicates emotions to others. The idea in expressing yourself assertively is to show positive life through your facial expressions. Smile while you speak and it causes the muscles in your face to change and helps pick up the inflection in your voice. Have your facial expressions match what you say. PRACTICE: Ask someone to receive your message. Make it a short message of two or three sentences and start out by sayin, “ Something important to me is…” First say your message showing a great deal of interest with your facial expression. Now repeat the same message with a blank look void of any expression. Ask you test subject to let you know which message evokes a more favorable response. Gestures are what you do with your hands when you’re talking. Use gestures to come across assertively, to help your message flow properly, and in essence, to punctuate or emphasize key points when you’re talking. You may notice that your gestures have connections to yur facial expressions, helping you deliver your message in an animated way within your own style.
36 Body Language Pitfalls SlouchingInvading spaceHovering over the listenerLooking blankLooking sternDisplaying threatening gesturesFolding your armsExhibiting distracting habits
37 Set the Tone Project your voice Show inflection in your voice Display sincerity in your toneThe idea is to be heard loud and clear. Vary your volume for the situation. Always keep it at a volume that makes your voice easy to be heard. Inflection deals with your pitch. If you’re at a high pitch, your voice comes across as shrill, which nobody wants to hear. If you stay at one pitch, and a rather flat one at that, you sound dull. The key to being assertive is to have variety-known as modulation- in your pitch. In particular, modulation makes your voice pleasant to listen to and conveys energy in your message. A tone of sincerity basically says,” I mean what I say, I say what I mean, and I do so with respect toward you.”
38 Vocal Pitfalls Sounding uncertain Being too soft-spoken Mumbling Being to loudDropping your voice at the end of a sentenceSounding MonotonousPutting people down with your toneHaving harshness in your toneSpeaking too fastUsing excessive filler sounds
39 Assertive Communication is Not a guaranteeNot another “should”Not negativeTaking charge of oneselfMiddle ground styleAn active expressive focusnot a guarantee that assertive people always get what they want. Others have the same rights you have to be assertive. The emphasis is on a maximization strategy.not another should. It should never become a “have to” but a “be able to” be assertive. Perfect, “by the book”, communication exists only in educational movies.Beware of the three P’s – Perfection, Procrastination, Paralysisnot negative. Too many confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness. It is important to be able to confront others, to disagree, to say “no”, and to ask for what you want, but if that is all we do, we will distance others we work and interact with. Assertive people can say “yes” and “no”, “I like” and “I don’t like”, “I agree” and “I disagree”. Balance is crucial for effective communication in the business world.Taking charge of oneself. It has an expressive emphasis—being able to express what one wants, feels, and thinks without abusing others.Middle groundd style that allows a clear communication without being a steamroller or a doormat.an active, expressive focus; assertive people stay in the game.
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.Total recommended time: 30 minsSetup: 5 minsPractice: 20 minsDebrief: 5 minsMRT Instructor:Describe the activities for Assertive Communication.Select volunteers for the first two scenarios and ask participants to work with a partner for the last two scenarios.MRT Activity Instructions:Participants role-play Scenarios 1 and 2: Person 1 initiates Assertive Communication and Person 2 responds within the role-play.Participants work in pairs in Scenario 3.In Scenario 4, participants choose a situation from their own lives and use the IDEAL model to develop an Assertive Communication plan.
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.MRT Instructor:Identify two participants to do the role-play and assign roles: Person 1 initiates Assertive Communication and Person 2 responds within the role-play.Ask the participants acting in the role-play to first model aggressive and passive styles of communication before modeling Assertive Communication.Periodically stop the role-play and ask participants to identify the style of communication being used as well as the response prompted by using that style.Ask for suggestions for how to make the response more effective (e.g., be more specific, don’t yell, look him in the eye).
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.MRT Instructor:Identify two participants to do the role-play and assign roles: Person 1 initiates Assertive Communication and Person 2 responds within the role-play.Ask the participants acting in the role-play to first model aggressive and passive styles of communication before modeling Assertive Communication.Periodically stop the role-play and ask participants to identify the style of communication being used as well as the response prompted by using that style.Ask for suggestions for how to make the response more effective (e.g., be more specific, don’t yell, look him in the eye).
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.MRT Instructor:Ask participants to work in pairs: Person 1 initiates Assertive Communication and Person 2 responds within the role-play.
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?MRT Instructor:Ask participants what they learned through this activity and record critical points on a flip chart.Remind participants that using Assertive Communication doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want. However, Assertive Communication does help you express your concerns and what you want, even when you don’t reach the outcome you’d like or the other person doesn’t react in the way you wanted.Explain that by using Assertive Communication, you leave the door open to talking about it again at a time when the other person might be more receptive.Point out that even if you don’t get the outcome you wanted, when you use Assertive Communication you can be confident that you handled the situation with integrity and respect for the other individual. This enables strong relationships even when you and the other person don’t see eye to eye.
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?MRT Instructor:Discuss the application ideas generated by the participants.Remind participants to record application ideas on the Applications page in the Participant Guide.Point out that barriers can include thoughts or Icebergs that get in the way of Assertive Communication, timing issues (e.g., it’s not the right time to have that conversation), or rank issues.
48 Check on LearningWhat 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.MRT Instructor:Ask each question. (Note that the slide builds.)Check to make sure the participants are giving accurate answers.Clarify misconceptions as necessary.