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Assertiveness Training

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Lorraine Nkhuwa

on 4 December 2014

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Transcript of Assertiveness Training

Welcome to
Assertiveness Training
Aim of the Training
To provide you with the knowledge and skills to become more assertive when dealing with different people in challenging situations


At the end of the training, you should be able to:

Recognise what makes effective communication

Know the difference between Assertive, Aggressive and Passive behaviours

Deal more confidently and effectively with difficult situations

What is Assertiveness?

Examples of these situations could be: 

Asking someone to return something they have borrowed.

Reacting to difficult colleagues at work.

Communicating your feelings to a partner, family or friends.

Saying “No” to somebody, and then feeling guilty after wards.

What is Assertiveness?

Assertiveness is:

Standing up for your own needs, views and feelings without ignoring or disrespecting other peoples' needs

Respecting yourself, others and being aware that everybody has rights and responsibilities.

Assertive people ideally seek win-win outcomes

Assertiveness is about being able to interact with other people effectively and not being aggressive or forceful.

What is Assertiveness?
Examples of words to use

Use “I want”, “I need”, or "I feel" to convey basic assertions.

“I feel strongly that we need to bring in a third party to mediate this disagreement”.

The Communication Process
(a) Non Verbal Behaviour

Eye Contact:

An assertive person makes eye contact about 50% of the time with the person with whom he/she is communicating.

A non-assertive person avoids eye contact.

An Aggressive person gains power by staring down the other person

Communication Style
Communication Style is how we interact with one another and the messages we send through our behaviours.

Communication is made up of two types of communication skills or behaviours:

Non-Verbal Communication

Verbal Communication

Communication Style
(a) Non Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication has the following three elements:

Body Language

facial expressions, gestures, postures

Sounds Voice
Tone, Volume, Speech rate

Clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics

The Communication Process
Communication Style
(a) Verbal Communication

Verbal communication refers to the use of sounds and language to relay a message.



Communication Style
Verbal Communication

How can you indicate that you are listening?

By using ‘restatement’

By nodding your head

Leaning in towards the other person

By using sounds like "Um-hmmmm," or "Oh, I see.

Communication Styles
Communication Style is categorised in three behaviours:

- I lose, you win

– I win, you lose

– I win, you win.

Communication Styles

Passive/Submissive Behaviour (lose/win):

Not expressing your rights, feelings, opinions, ideas and needs.

Is ignoring your rights and allow others to infringe upon them.

Avoiding conflicts at all times and to please others.

Always feeling anxious, disappointed, angry and resentful.

Lose self-esteem and may cause others to become irritated

Communication Styles
(b) Aggressive behaviour (win/lose):

Aggression is standing up for your rights in a way that is pushy and inappropriate

Express their feelings in a demanding, angry way.

See your own needs as being more important than others.

Always want a win situation while ignoring the feelings of others.

They sometimes feel they deserve more respect and attention than other people.

They tend to have poor communication skills

The behaviour may not be intentional but can be very hurtful.

Likely to have trouble developing or keeping close and affectionate relationships

Communication Styles

(c) Assertive Behaviour – (win/win)

Assertive Behaviour is being able to express your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions in an open manner that doesn’t violate the rights of others.

Communication Styles
Scenarios of Different Communication Styles:

Each of the following examples shows three types of responses (Passive, Aggressive, and Assertive) to various situations:

Mary goes to work each day and enjoys the time to herself when she gets home. Nearly every afternoon her neighbour, who stays home all day, pops in for a cup of tea. Mary does not want this to continue. How can she tell her neighbour?

I'll put the kettle on.

Look you've got to stop coming over every afternoon. I've got to have some time to myself.

I often enjoy having tea in the afternoon but I need a bit of time to myself these days when I get home from work. How about making Wednesday afternoon the time when we get together? In this case you may want to compromise (e.g., suggesting tea on Wednesdays) because you think your neighbour is lonely.

Assertiveness Techniques
(i) The ‘broken record’ technique

The broken record technique is very effective and can work in a variety of situations. This approach is particularly useful in:

 Situations where you feel your rights are being ignored.

Coping with clever, articulate people.

Situations where you may lose self-confidence if you give in.

Assertiveness Techniques
How to use the ‘broken record’ technique:

Work out beforehand what you want to say and rehearse it.

Keep repeating your point, using a calm, pleasant voice.

Don't be put off by clever arguments or by what the other person says.

Don't be pulled into an argument or having to explain your decision.

Assertiveness Techniques
Scenario of Broken Record Technique

An unreasonable demand at work

: "Can you get all these arrears letters sent out to the residents by the end of the day?“

"I won't be able to send them all today, but I will finish sending them tomorrow.“

"But I wanted them all sent today.“

"I won't be able to send them all today.“

"Can't you just work really late tonight until they are all sent out?“

"I won't be able to send them all today. But I will finish sending them tomorrow."

Assertiveness Techniques
Scenario & Task of Broken Record Technique

Scenario 2: '
Returning Faulty Goods'

Shop assistant:
"Good morning. How can I help you?“

"Good morning. These trousers are faulty and I would like a refund.“

Shop assistant
: "Do you want to change them for another pair?“

"No thank you. I would like a refund.“

Shop assistant:
"I can give you a credit note, is that O.K?“

"No thank you. These trousers are faulty and I would like a refund."

Assertiveness Techniques
(ii) Fogging Technique

Fogging technique is useful if people are behaving in a manipulative or aggressive way.

Rather than arguing back, fogging aims to give a minimal, calm response using terms that are satisfying but not defensive, while at the same time not agreeing to meet demands.

Examples of Fogging Situations

Assertiveness Techniques

Examples of Fogging Situation

“What time do you call this? You're nearly half an hour late; I'm fed up with you letting me down all the time.”

Fogging response:

“Yes, I am later than I hoped to be and I can see this has annoyed you.”

“Annoyed? Of course I'm annoyed, this has left me waiting for ages. You really should try to think about other people a bit more.”
Fogging response:

“Yes, I was concerned that you would be left waiting for almost half an hour.”

“Well... why were you late?”

Assertiveness Techniques
(iii) 3 Basic steps to Assertiveness

Listen and show understanding

Say what you mean, how you feel or what you think

Say what you want or what action you want to taken

(iv) Using 'I' statements

'I' statements help to keep the focus on the problem, rather than accusing or blaming the other person. They also help to express ownership of your thoughts and feelings, rather than attacking the other person. Again, remember try to keep a calm, pleasant voice.
A good technique is to use this order of phrases:

“I feel/felt................when.........because................”

Assertiveness Techniques
(v) Using 'I' statements

Example 1:

'I feel angry when he breaks his promises because I don't feel I can rely on him.‘

Instead of:
'He makes me so angry!'

Example 2:

'I felt disappointed when I heard that you had told Sam about my problem because I spoke to you in confidence.

Instead of:
'Why are you telling everyone my business!'

(vi) How to say no

Many people find it difficult to say “No”. Sometimes by avoiding saying "No" you can be drawn into situations that you don't want to be in.

When may you want to say “No”?

You may want to say ‘NO’ because you may have fears about how other people may see or react to you.

You may feel scared that you will be seen as mean or selfish, or that you may be rejected by others

Assertiveness Techniques
How to say ‘No’

Here are some things to keep in mind for those times when you wish to say ‘no’.

Use assertive body posture.

Use direct eye contact

keep your head up, shoulders back, hands relaxed

Keep voice calm and loud enough to be heard.

Decide on your position before you speak.

If you’re not sure what your answer is, don’t answer yet.

Decide on exactly what you would and would not be willing to do.

Wait for the question. Some people agree before they have even been asked!

Assertiveness Techniques
How to say ‘No’

Strategies for saying ‘No.’

Strengthen your position.
Don’t expect that the other person will accept your refusal the first time that you turn them down – especially if you’ve been saying yes. Be ready for them to push again, and respond with a refusal that is just as strong or stronger.

Don’t wait for acceptance.
You don’t have to convince the other person to accept your refusal or agree with it. If you keep explaining yourself every time they repeat the request, then you are saying that they have the ultimate power

Assertiveness Techniques
(vii) Being direct and clear

"Being Direct" is a straightforward technique. When you want something, ask for it and get straight to the point. Eg:

: I'd like someone to drive me to the airport this afternoon. Would you be able to do that?

When you answer such a request, be direct as well:

: "No, I'm taking this afternoon off to play golf".

Assertiveness Techniques
Being direct and clear

Being direct is the best way to interact. It has a number of benefits, including:

It saves time

Misunderstandings are reduced

It enables genuine negotiation to take place

You get more easily and quickly to a win-win solution

Assertiveness Techniques
Being direct and clear

Drawbacks of being Direct

Things don't go the way you would like them to

You feel offended as a result

Other people stop asking you

They may not say it, but other people don't trust your honesty

Importantance of Assertiveness?
If you don't know how to be assertive, you may experience:

a sense of feeling helpless with no control over your life.

anger at others for taking advantage of you.

why did I let that happen?

if you can't express anger appropriately it can build up to temper outbursts.

you may avoid certain situations which make you feel uncomfortable and you may therefore miss out on activities, job opportunities etc.

Relationship difficulties:
it can be difficult in relationships when individuals can't tell each other what they want and need or how the other person affects them.

Stress-related problems
: stress can have a negative impact on the body, and assertiveness can be a good way of managing stress.

Benefits of Assertiveness
You can say 'Yes' when you mean 'Yes' and 'No' when you mean 'No'.

You can communicate clearly to others what you are feeling in a calm way.

You do not let fear of conflict stop you from speaking.

You feel good about yourself.

You feel entitled to be who you are and to express what you feel

Any Questions??

Assertiveness Techniques
They are some common techniques to help you be more assertive, boost your confidence and improve your communication.

These are:

(i) The ‘broken record’ technique

(ii) Fogging Technique

(iii) Basic steps to Assertiveness

(iv) Using 'I' statements

(vi) How to say no

(vi) Being direct and clear

Group Exercise

Assertiveness Techniques
Assertiveness Techniques
Assertiveness Questionnaire

How Assertive are you?



Assertiveness Questionnaire

What is Assertiveness

Communication Styles

Assertiveness Techniques

Benefits of Assertiveness
What is Assertiveness ?
What do you understand by Communication
Communication Style
Listening skill is very important in Verbal Communication because it provides you with free information from the other person

How can you indicate that you are
Verbal Communication:
Communication Styles
What is Passive/Submissive Behaviour?
Communication Styles
What is Aggressive behaviour?

What are the Importantance of Assertiveness?
Communication Styles
What is Assertive Behaviour?
What are the Benefits of Assertiveness
What is Assertiveness?
Can you give examples of situations when it is difficult to be assertive?
Communication Style
What is Non-Verbal Communication?
Communication Style
What is Verbal Communication?
Assertiveness Techniques
What are the Drawbacks of being Direct?
Recognise what makes effective communication

Know the difference between Assertive, Aggressive and Passive behaviours

Deal more confidently and effectively with difficult situations
Thank you for attending the Assertiveness Training, hope you will be now able to:
Full transcript