Assertiveness skills

Simran K. Sanghera Talent Development

Course objectives
Define assertiveness Understand assertiveness Learn assertiveness skills Formula of an assertive message Reap the benefits 2 4 19 29 36

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Assertiveness skills

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Definition

What is assertiveness?
• Assertiveness is the ability to —
– – – – – Honestly express your opinions Feelings Attitudes and rights Without undue anxiety Doesn’t infringe on the rights of others

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Assertiveness skills

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Understanding assertiveness

Assertive philosophy- It’s about YOU
• It is Right to stand up for your Rights and every thing that is Right!!
– – – – – Right to Express your opinions/feelings/emotions Maintain your dignity Ask for equal treatment Safeguard your interests

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Assertiveness skills

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Assertive philosophy – It’s also about OTHERS
• Every one is entitled to dignity, respect and courtesy.
– Responsibility not to • Ignore/crush others feelings and emotions • Outrage dignity of others • Display/practice prejudice • Violate others rights

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Assertiveness skills

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Think about it…
• Suppressed feelings can build up and can be harmful to us and others • Not letting others know how we feel is selfish and denies them a chance to change, grow and have a relationship with us

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Assertiveness skills

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Statements examination
‘I need to see the Manager, Right now!’ ‘I understand that you are busy, but I would like to see the manager as soon as possible.’ ‘Why don’t you ever take me out to dinner anymore?’ ‘It’s been a long time since we went out for dinner together’

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Assertiveness skills

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Communication styles
Aggressive — • Protecting one’s own rights-at the expense of others’ rights. • The goal is to win at all costs • The other person is hurt and humiliated Assertive — • Protecting one’s own rights -while respecting the rights of others. • The goal is to understand each other and to arrive at a win-win situation. • The other person feels respected.

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Assertiveness skills

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Communication style (cont.)
Passive aggressive — • Sacrificing one’s own rights initially followed by retaliation later. • The goal is to avoid conflict for as long as possible. • Others feel guilty, hurt and frustrated later. Passive — • Sacrificing one’s own rights at all times. • Never speaking up for self. • Needs professional counseling and therapeutic intervention.
10 Assertiveness skills
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Examples of aggressive communication
• “I don’t know why you can’t see that this is the right way to do it.” • “It’s going to be my way or not at all.” • “You’re just stupid if you think that will work.” • “That kind of logic will sink the company.” • “Who cares what you feel. We’re talking about making things work here.”

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Assertiveness skills

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Examples of passive aggressive communication
• “I love your hair. Most people probably can’t even tell it’s a wig.” • “I’ll go with whatever the group decides.” • “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me.” • “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes... no!”

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Assertiveness skills

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Examples of assertive communication
• “So what you’re saying is...” • “I can see that this is important to you, and it is also important to me. Perhaps we can talk more respectfully and try to solve the problem.” • “I think… I feel… I believe that…” • “I would appreciate it if you…”

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Assertiveness skills

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Who is who???
• You have absolutely no sense of time! You’re always late. Get Lost!! • We were supposed to meet at 12:30, but now it’s 12:50. I have no time for window shopping now, come let’s get started with lunch right away • I knew you’ll be late, now I am accustomed to waiting for you. Thank God it was only 20 minutes this time • “I hear what you’re saying, and I wouldn’t want to make waves, so I’ll do what you say even though someone will probably get sued.”

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Assertiveness skills

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Exercise
• Describe an example of situation in which you wish you had asserted yourself

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Assertiveness skills

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Which is the best style?
• All styles have their proper place and use
– Assertive communication is the healthiest – Boundaries of all parties are respected – Easier to problem-solve – Fewer emotional outbursts Assertive style requires skills and a philosophy change, as well as lots of practice and hard work

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Assertiveness skills

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Understanding assertiveness-Recap
Passive aggressive 3 patterns of Interpersonal Behavior Aggressive Assertive Passive aggressive
Characteristics • Allow others to choose for you • Emotionally dishonest

Aggressive
• Choose for others • Inappropriately honest • Direct, self-expressive • Win-lose situation • That you win • Righteous, superior, controlling • Later: possibly guilty • Humiliated, defensive, resentful, hurt • You achieve your goal at others’ expense • Your rights upheld, others’ are violated

Assertive
• Choose for self • Appropriately honest • Direct, self-respecting/ expressing, straight-forward • Convert win-lose to win-win • Confident, self-respecting, goal-oriented, valued • Later: accomplished • Valued, respected • Outcome determined by above-board negotiation • Your and others’ rights respected

Win-lose situation

• You lose • Anxious, ignored, helpless, manipulated • Later: angry at yourself, and/or others • Guilty or superior • Frustrated with you • Others achieve their goals at your expense • Your rights are violated

Your own feelings on the exchange Others’ feelings in the exchange Outcome

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Assertiveness skills

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Learn assertiveness skills

I — “I” messages
• Why “I”??
– Focus is more on Your feelings and Needs – Shows more ownership of Your reactions – Conveys less blame to the other person • “But I feel/need… • “I understand/know/can see...” • “So I would like/prefer/suggest...”

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Assertiveness skills

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II — Objectivity
• Identify the object to be focused on • Focus on the problem, not on the emotions • Postpone discussion if emotions cannot be contained

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Assertiveness skills

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III — Persistence
• Stay focused on the issue — Do not get distracted, defensive, or start justifying yourself • Paraphrase if required

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Assertiveness skills

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IV — Acknowledgement
• Acknowledge their feelings/ opinions/interests, but try to move beyond it to a discussion about the problem • Don’t pass a judgment — You do not necessarily have to disagree or agree
– “I can see that this upsets you, and from your perspective, I can see why. Now, what can we do to make this better for both of us?”

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Assertiveness skills

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V — Ownership
• Own your flaws/mistakes —if it is true.
– “That is entirely possible, knowing me…”

• Accept someone’s criticism as feedback rather than an attack.
– “You could be right about that...”

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Assertiveness skills

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VI — Challenge false information
• Challenge when attacked with false information -do not fall prey to defensiveness • The evidence — Look for the grain of truth and validate it.
– “Actually, I was at work, so that could not have been me.” – “I’m sorry, I simply do not see it that way, but you are more than entitled to your opinion.”

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Assertiveness skills

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VII — Sincere approach
• Pump the negatives out — When criticized, ask for more negative feedback; to learn more about how to be better in that area
– E.g., “I am really concerned, tell me more about what is bothering you about my report.”

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Assertiveness skills

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VIII — Assertive body language
• Maintain direct eye contact • Maintain erect posture • Speak clearly and audibly • Do not Whine!!!! • Use facial expressions and gestures to add emphasis to words • Watch the non-verbal communication

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Assertiveness skills

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Essential elements-Summary
I. “I” Messages II. Objectivity III. Persistence IV. Acknowledgement V. Ownership (of flaws/mistakes) VI. Challenge (to false information) VII. Sincere approach (to build) VIII. Assertive body language

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Assertiveness skills

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Formula of an assertive message

Three (3) line assertion message
• Understand and summarize • Indicate your feelings/opinions • State your requirements/reasons

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Assertiveness skills

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Example
• “When you…” (state facts) • “I feel uncomfortable…” (state feelings) • “I would like…(state requirements) • In this way we will be able to work together more productively because...” (benefits to the other party)

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Assertiveness skills

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What is “Okay” in Assertive Behavior

• • • • • •

It is okay to say “I don’t know.” It is okay to say “No,” or “I cannot do that. It is okay to make mistakes as long as responsibility is taken for them It is okay to disagree and to verbalize that It is okay to challenge others’ opinions or actions It is okay to not accept another’s opinion as factual or accurate (e.g., getting criticized) • It is okay to ask for a change in behavior

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Assertiveness skills

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When NOT to be assertive
• • • • • • When the other person is overly sensitive When the issue is trivial When losses outweigh the benefits of asserting yourself In emergency, when there is no time to reason While making un-popular decisions When you are wrong!!

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Assertiveness skills

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Advice
• • • • • Start Start small Role play with friends Start with strangers Ask yourself
– – – – How can I express my message more specifically and clearly? Am I likely to have to repeat my message? Will I feel comfortable doing this? What body language will I use to back up my message?

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Assertiveness skills

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Practice Practice Practice!!!

Role Play

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Assertiveness skills

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Reap the benefits

Assertiveness DISCLAIMER!
• Does not just happen • Does not guarantee you happiness or fair treatment • Will not solve all your problems • Does not guarantee you will get what you want

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Assertiveness skills

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SO …How will you benefit?
• • • • • • Enhanced self-esteem Strong, sound and long lasting relationships Professional growth and respect Superior negotiation skills Better conflict management Better anger management

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Assertiveness skills

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Happy asserting

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