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Communication and Assertiveness

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STU Reslife

on 11 August 2014

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Transcript of Communication and Assertiveness

Communication & Assertiveness
3 Types of Behaviour
Passive/ Non-Aggressive
Passive people tend not to want to face up to difficult problems and situations because they are frightened of upsetting others.

People who have aggressive behavior usually will stand up for their rights, but in a way that violates the rights of other people.
Aggressive people often uses anger, aggressive body language other threatening behavior to bully, subjugate and dominate other people. They will use punishing language to infer guilt and create shame.
It's not aggressiveness, it's a middle ground between being a bully and a doormat. It's dependent on a feeling of self efficacy, a sense that if you behave in a certain way, something predictable will occur.
Assertiveness is the ability to honestly express your opinions, feelings, attitudes, and rights, without undue anxiety, in a way that doesn't infringe on the rights of others.
Where does

Many of us are taught that we should always please and/or defer to others, that it is not nice to consider our own needs above those of others, or that we shouldn't "make waves", that if someone says or does something that we don't like, we should just be quiet and try to stay away from that person in the future.

non assertive
Use facts, not judgments. Example: "Your punctuation needs work and your formatting is inconsistent" instead of "This is sloppy work." or "Did you know that shirt has some spots?" instead of "You're not going out looking like THAT, are you?"
Express ownership of your thoughts, feeling, and opinions. Example: "I get angry when he breaks his promises." instead of "He makes me angry." or "I believe the best policy is to Y" instead of "The only sensible thing is to Y"
How to be effectively assertive
Use assertive body language. Face the other person, stand or sit straight, don't use dismissive gestures, be sure you have a pleasant, but serious facial expression, keep your voice calm and soft, not whiny or abrasive.
Use "I" statements. Keep the focus on the problem you're having, not on accusing or blaming the other person. Example: "I'd like to be able to tell my stories without interruption." instead of "You're always interrupting my stories!
Make clear, direct, requests. Don't invite the person to say no. Example: "Will you please ...?" instead of "Would you mind Y ?" or "Why don't you Y ?"

12. You can change your mind and say "no" to a request you originally said "yes" to. All the above applies to your change of mind.

Helpful Hints For Assertive Behaviour

Saying "No" to Unfair Requests and Demands

1. Be sure where you stand first, i.e., whether you want to say yes or no. If you're not sure, say you need time to think it over and let the person know when you will have an answer.
2. Ask for clarification if you don't fully understand what is requested of you.
3. Be as brief as possible, i.e., give a legitimate reason for your refusal, but avoid long elaborate explanations and justifications. Such excuses may be used by the other person to argue you out of your "no."
4. Actually use the word "no" when declining. "No" has more power and is less ambiguous than, "Well, I just don't think so..."
5. Make sure your nonverbal gestures mirror your verbal messages. Shake your head when saying "no." Often people unknowingly nod their heads and smile when they are attempting to decline or refuse.
6. Use the words "I won't" or "I've decided not to" rather than "I can't" or "I shouldn't". This emphasizes that you have made a choice.
7. You may have to decline several times before the person "hears" you. It is not necessary to come up with a new explanation each time, just repeat your "no" and your original reason for declining.

8. If the person persists even after you have repeated your "no" several times, use silence (easier on the phone), or change the topic of conversation. You have the right to end the conversation.
9. You may want to acknowledge any feelings another has about your refusal, "I know this will be a disappointment to you, but I won't be able to..." However, you don't need to say "I'm sorry" in most situations to apologize for your refusal. Saying "I'm sorry" tends to compromise your basic right to say "no."
10. Avoid feeling guilty. It is not up to you to solve others' problems or make them happy.
11. If you do not want to agree to the person's original request, but still desire to help her or him out, offer a compromise: "I will not be able to babysit the whole afternoon, but I can sit for two hours."
How to say NO!
How does this apply to RA's?
come from?
7) Disengage dialogue and take action immediately! May necessitate calling for assistance from another RA, RC, RC on call, Residence life staff member on duty or security.

4) Give them the reason (“the law, policy, rules, etc., require that you…” OR” I cannot…while you…etc.”

If they still refuse, then…

There are seven simple steps for dealing with difficult people during an encounter;

5) Present the options (“If you do what I ask then”…”If you do not do what as I ask, then…”). Tell them what's in it for them!

6) Confirm the refusal: Sir, is there anything that I can say to you at this time to get you to cooperate with me and (repeat your request)? “I’d sure like to think that there is.”

If they still refuse, then…

1) Give a friendly greeting (Say Hello)

2) Identify yourself by name and title

3) Ask for compliance (“I need you to…” “I have to ask you to…”)

If they refuse then…

1) Keep professional face and never show personal face
2) Distinguish between reasonable and severe resistance
3) Create and maintain constant “contact” with the other party
4) Practice Empathy
5) Use positive feedback when you least want to
6) Control the encounter, not be a victim to it
7) Most importantly is that you survive the encounter

To be successful in a hostile verbal encounter you must:

Ask questions- get some feedback- repeat in your own words what they are saying.

How could someone stay angry at someone who’s trying really hard to listen to them?

Step Two- Listen and Check

Step One Control your Anger
Step Two Listen and Check
Step Three Empathize
Step Four Get them Involved
Step Five Act or Disengage

5 Steps to Verbal Judo
The best way of reading your target audience is to see the person the way he sees himself, which is the true essence of empathy.
Participating in Verbal Judo can dramatically increase an awareness of how others think and act under stress, “reading” situations for what they truly are- opportunities to advance individual credibility by controlling what we say and do for the good of everyone involved.

3) Increased Efficiency

The three main goals of verbal judo are;
If the steps fail, the best course of action is to disengage and avoid escalation.

You ALWAYS have the choice to walk away.

Step Five- Act or Disengage

Even if you are a master at Verbal Judo, you cannot control any and all crisis.

Step Five- Act or Disengage

Can people think of a solution and remain focused on their anger at the same time? You must get them involved in the finding of a solution to the problem. Get them on your side. People are not as apt to be hostile while they are helping.

Step Four- Get them Involved

Empathy is the reading of ones state of mind of the capacity of understanding another’s feeling.

Sympathy is the inclination to think or feel alike or the capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings of another .

Step Three- Empathize
Massage your own feelings, control your anger.
Step 1- Control your Anger
Great, profound thinkers must communicate simply.
The third goal is to increase your efficiency by improving your performance level.

Reduce your capacity for conflict
Developing mind-mouth harmony is the greatest skill in the world, because if you make a mistake with either, you can find yourself in a serious personal danger.
1) Conflict Management
The Gentle Art of Persuasion

Verbal Judo

1) Conflict Management
2) Enhanced Professionalism
Ensure your own personal safety!
1) Conflict Management
With out Conflict Management you can instigate violence, lose your credibility, alienate people and lose friends.
2) Enhanced Professionalism

Verbal Judo can improve your performance by reducing complaints from those you live with and reduce personal stress. If you can use your words without causing stress and conflict, you will have fewer issues with residences and fewer arguments will result. This will go a long way with reducing stress, which is something people bring on themselves by the way you deal with people. Reduce your capacity for conflict, and you will reduce stress.

Reducing complaints from those you live with and reduce personal stress
You will have fewer issues with residences and fewer arguments will result
Reduce stress
Increasing your efficiency also means improving your ability to say it right the first time, rather than as so many of us do, having to apologize, restate, and try to explain why you fired off words that caused you problems in the first place.

3) Increased Efficiency
You must read your audience, then decide which methods will make your principals affect the outcome you want.
3) Increased Efficiency
Make Strange Become the Familiar

Then, using the language of your audience, you can make the strange become the familiar.

Albert Einstein was brilliant at that. He would sit in Princeton Square and use balloons and oranges to explain that most complicated ideas. Great, profound thinkers must communicate simply. They understand the complexities, but they must make them simple so everyone can understand.

The perpetrator must become an ally with you, to benefit both parties. To motivate a disagreeable person to a point of voluntary compliance is the ultimate goals of Verbal Judo.

They are expecting resistance and they don’t get it. It takes the wind out of their sails.

Endure the heat, don’t mind taking the blame.
It is natural to meet anger with anger when people are in a state of high emotion
It forces people to think, to check what you are saying against what they thought they said. Once you have them thinking rationally about the problem, its harder for them to remain angry.

If people need to be understood, we can relate this feeling to them by showing some empathy.
If you can do these first 3 steps right you have demonstrated your own willingness to listen, so the person will listen back o you. You should now be gaining some control of the situation.

Words are a civilized way to disagree but not everyone is civilized.
If someone is coming at you need more than words to protect yourself.
You now know how to Verbal Judo!
How can you apply this to your role?
Guidelines for RA Confrontation!
Be prepared to explain what regulation was broken, but don’t argue policy at that time.

Never argue with an intoxicated person. Tell them you will talk to them the next day.
Avoid apologies such as "I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to document this situation"
Residents will pick up on confidence and lack of confidence

This does not mean that you can’t do this, but you need to recognize the risks involved. You very easily be trapped in the room. Ask to speak to the resident(s) in the hallway if you feel there could be a threat.
Be respectful. Don’t degrade the residents in any way. Don’t swear at the residents. Don’t call your residents names. Don’t raise your voice to residents. Don’t confront residents in front of others residents. If possible, speak to them privately.
Never touch or physically intimidate anyone you are confronting.
If someone needs to be escorted out of the building, call security.
When expressing alternative for noncompliance with rules/requests,give accurate options. Avoid stating consequences that can not be upheld.

State your request in a firm, friendly and in a specific manner.
Avoid sounding challenging. This will make the resident(s) defensive which will only serve to escalate the situation. Set limits “ i.e. "everyone must leave in 10 minutes".

If resident(s) have questions or complaints, refer them to the RC
You should feel comfortable calling anyone for back up. Size and gender should not be important here. Call the RC on call or your RC (if a different individual)
A back up RA provides another witness as well as moral and verbal support
Call campus police/security if necessary, but first call your RC

It is usually best not to enter a room.
Mediation is a process where all parties involved in a dispute agree to meet with a third party, who listens to all sides of the disputes, and attempts to help the parties reach an agreement among themselves.
9 Steps to a Successful Mediation
Everyone must recognize that there is a conflict.

Rules for the discussion are agreed upon at the beginning of the mediation. Examples include;
-Each party will listen without interrupting the other
-No name calling
-Time limits on each person’s turn
*Be sure to ask the roommates f they can think of any other ground rules.

Problem Recognition
Ground Rules
Problem Definition
Each party is allowed to state his/ her side of the dispute, without being interrupted. The RA listens alternately to both roommates’ stories, using frequent paraphrasing to achieve full understanding.

The RA asks if the roommates are willing to solve the problem

Highlighting Pleasing & Displeasing Behaviours
The roommates agree to attempt to resolve the conflict. Each roommate takes turns saying what they think are the good and bad behaviours of the other.

Roommates trade and negotiate specific behaviours to satisfy the needs of each other. The parties suggest possible solutions to the dispute. The mediator may ask questions to help them suggest alternatives.

The mediator should help the parties agree on some possible solutions, by reiterating what has been said, suggesting possible compromises, and trying to help generate other alternative solutions.

The mediator should add new amendments to the Roommate Agreement Form and have the roommates sign the changes.

The mediator should follow -up with the students. Usually only one follow-up session on any one conflict issue.

Tips for Mediating

Stay calm- the calmer you stay the calmer the students will be.

 Don’t fill the awkward silences

 Make sure things stay under control and fair

Roommate Mediation Scenarios
Break into groups of 3
Each person gets to be the RA
Act out mediation scenarios
Call for back up if necessary.
Speak directly to the resident(s) of the room. They are the ones who will have to get on your side.
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