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Introduction to assertiveness Prepared by Suzanne Morton.

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1 Introduction to assertiveness Prepared by Suzanne Morton

2 Todays session - content Difficult situations – our choices Identifying assertive, aggressive and submissive behaviour Types of assertion Body language Personal action plans

3 Difficult situations are inevitable Poor / inappropriate communication Personality clash Conflicting interests Conflicting values Unrealistic expectations Misunderstandings / mistakes

4 Difficult situations – you have choices in how you react / behave… Do what comes naturally? Give yourself time / space to think? Reframe the situation – i.e. try to see it differently? Be assertive? YOU HAVE A CHOICE!

5 The choice you make is critical to the outcome The attitudes that we adopt in any situation partly determine how the situation will unfold. Zohar & Marshall (1993)

6 Know your goal! What are you trying to achieve (top end of the negotiating scale)? What are you prepared to put up with (bottom line position)? Between these two is a negotiable range (compromise) Dont use behaviours which are counter-productive!

7 But you cant change other people! Dont try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig

8 Spectrum of behaviours

9 Aggressive behaviour Standing up for your rights in a way violates the rights of others Ignoring or dismissing the needs, wants, opinions, feelings or beliefs of others Expressing your own needs, wants and opinions in inappropriate ways

10 Aggressive words Shut up and listen What a nerve Because I said so Get on with it Youd better Stupid Youre a……!

11 Submissive behaviour Failing to stand up for your rights or doing so in a way that others can easily disregard them Expressing your needs, wants, opinions, feelings or beliefs in apologetic or self effacing ways Failing to express honestly your own needs, wants beliefs and opinions

12 Submissive words Sorry to bother you Its only me Would you mind I could come back later I wonder if Excuse me I guess

13 Assertive behaviour Standing up for your own rights in such a way that you do not violate another persons rights Expressing your needs, wants, opinions, feelings or beliefs in direct honest and appropriate ways

14 Assertive words I would like I think Lets consider the options I respect your view What do you think? I believe that How can we resolve this

15 Assertive Techniques Basic assertion Responsive assertion Empathetic assertion Fogging Instant replay Discrepancy assertion Negative feelings Consequence assertion

16 Low level assertion (1) Basic: A straightforward statement which stands up for your rights by making clear your needs, wants, beliefs opinions or feelings. e.g. I need to be away by 5 p.m. Responsive: A behaviour that aims to find out where the other person stands, their needs, wants opinions and feelings e.g. Katie, Id like to hear your views on this reportor What problems does that create for you Rachael? Empathetic: A statement that contains some empathy and a statement of your needs / wants. e.g.I know youre busy at the moment John but Id like to ask a quick question

17 Low level assertion (2) Fogging: A way of slowing the other person down without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with them. e.g. I can see why you might think that Sam or There may be some truth in what you are saying Instant replay: A way of getting your message through without nagging or whining. The message is repeated or paraphrased until it can no longer be dismissed or ignored.e.g. I cant get the report done by 2 oclock…………. I cant do the report by 2 oclock but I could do it by 4 oclock……As Ive already said I cant do the report for 2 oclock…..

18 High level assertion (1) Discrepancy: A statement that shows the other person has moved the goalposts. e.g. Mike, when we spoke about this last year you said you would delegate more responsibility to me, Im still keen for that to happen Negative feelings: A statement which shows another person the undesirable effect their behaviour is having on you. e.g. When you make comments like that in meetings it makes me feel that Im not being taken seriously

19 High level assertion (2) Consequence: A statement that informs the other person of the consequences of not changing their behaviour. e.g. If this happens again, Ill have no option but to talk to the head of school. Id rather we didnt get to that stage.

20 2 people can look at the same situation or picture and see entirely different things Reframing

21 It may help to try to see their picture

22 Body Language - say it like you mean it! Is learned before language Is more convincing than language Is powerful in forming a first impression

23 Body Language is made up of Eye contact Facial expression Posture Gestures Personal space Dress Voice Tone

24 The Power of Body Language 7% WORDS what you say 55% APPEARANCE how you look! 38% VOICE how you say it

25 Assertive Body Language Moderate eye contact Relaxed facial expression Open gestures Relaxed posture Appropriate proximity Moderate voice tone

26 Difficult situations checklist What are your rights? What are his/her rights? What are your fears about tackling this? What are the possible benefits to tackling it? What is negotiable / non-negotiable? What type of assertion could be used as a starting point / to escalate? Consider your body language and vocal tone. Where and when are you going to speak to him/her?

27 Action plan Use your judgement to choose situations you want to be more assertive in Weigh up pros and cons of being assertive Be clear what outcome you want at the start Know your negotiating limit Have a flexible strategy Dont give up at the first hurdle Look for win/win compromise solutions if possible Look at the big picture

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