Assertiveness Training Course: Simple Assertiveness Techniques

by ltconsulting on July 11, 2011

So what is assertiveness all about?

Total Success run assertiveness training courses and seminars in London and UK.  We cover all aspects of positive assertion, body language, conflict resolution and dealing with aggressive people. Our workshops encourage delegates to practice the skills needed for positive assertion. So how do we achieve success? Well, we don’t just get people to learn phrases, we encourage them to think through situations that are relevant and encourage them to express themselves confidently. It’s not easy. Assertion means standing up for what you want. Stating your needs clearly and  expressing opposition.

It means confrontation and it takes courage. Some find it harder than others because of their natural easy-going style and therefore more practice is required. However, the aim should not be just to gain a win. The aim should be to solve the problem and get the best result. Assertion should not be synonymous with aggression because aggressive people adopt an ‘I win – you lose’ mentality to achieve their objectives.

Assertiveness does not come naturally to all because we have all learned passive behaviours to stave off confrontational situations. However these behaviours can be unlearned and assertive behaviour used to produce results that benefit both parties. Assertiveness training courses and workshops can help delegates increase work effectiveness and productivity, achieve greater control of their daily activities and overcome work stressors.

For more information about assertive techniques, click on the links below:

Simple Assertiveness Techniques

There are many techniques to develop assertive behaviour. Most are based on ‘the three-line assertion message’, in which:

  1. you understand and summarise the facts of the situation
  2. you indicate your feelings towards the situation
  3. you state your requirements, reasons and benefits to the other party, if appropriate.

Assertion normally comprises this three line assertive message. This technique enables you to confront the other person with your concern without being personally aggressive, but it is not easy and demands skilful conversation control. For example, you might say:

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

Here the person relates the behaviour that causes offence, says how he/she feels and then gives a reason. Note there are no such attributions as ‘You are deliberately annoying me’, there are no swear words, there are no put-downs of the other person. The emphasis is on indicating how you feel and thereby seeking to gain a positive rather than an aggressive response from the other person.

Here are some more guidelines for assertive delivery

  • Acknowledge and be honest about your own feelings to yourself
  • Adopt new positive inner dialogue for situations where you need to be more assertive
  • Be clear, specific and direct in what you say
  • If necessary, keep repeating your message if you encounter objections
  • If necessary ask for clarification if you are uncertain about something
  • If necessary, acknowledge diversion tactics, then again repeat your message
  • Adopt appropriate body language to back up your assertion
  • Keep calm and stick to the point
  • Always respect the rights of the other person

And always ask yourself these questions

  • How can I express my message more clearly?
  • How can I be more specific about what I have to say?
  • Am I likely to have to repeat my message? Will I feel comfortable doing this?
  • Am I prepared to respond to their red herrings, and at the same time stick to my message?
  • What body language will I use to back up my message?

How to give praise and criticism

Comment on specific actions.

For example, ‘You handled that awkward customer very well by listening to her argument instead of interrupting’ rather than, ‘You’re quite good with difficult people, aren’t you?’ The second comment was too general, it didn’t give the other person specific feedback about what she/he did well.

Another example is ‘You missed the deadline for that report’, rather than, ‘You’re absolutely hopeless at managing your time.’ Again the second statement is too general and subjective. ‘Absolutely hopeless’ is not a good starting point for developing specific time management behaviours.

Follow this up with reasons for your comments.

This is helpful whether the comments are positive or negative because we need to know what we are being praised for if we are to know how to use it as helpful feedback: ‘You missed the deadline for that report, probably because you have been spending more time on telephone sales than we planned. Perhaps we should discuss how you should allocate your time in future?’

Don’t use praise as a way of manipulating people into doing something for you

For example, ‘You are the most hardworking member of the department and I really appreciate the effort you put in for the meeting this afternoon. Perhaps you could just write up the minutes for me?’ This manipulation makes the praise insincere.

When giving criticism, seek solutions, rather than commenting on somebody’s personality.

‘You’re getting far too many complaints from members of the public recently. What the heck’s the matter with you?’ is very unhelpful. Instead say: ‘You seem to be getting complaints from members of the public in your section at the moment. Do you know what the problem is?’

Above all, avoid public put-downs

or criticism in situations which will cause embarrassment.

Practice your assertiveness

Consider typical situations at work which require assertive behaviour and practise your approach. Typical situations might include:

  • giving criticism to a close colleague
  • having to refuse to accept additional work
  • asking help from a notoriously ‘difficult’ colleague.

Work through the following steps.

  1. Explain the situation to a friend or colleague, briefing him/her about whoever you will be talking to.
  2. Use role-play to talk through the situation. Make your points clearly. In this conversation the other person will respond as the appropriate character.
  3. Ask the other person what you did well, and what you could improve. If it will help, talk through the situation again.
  4. Finally, swap roles – this will give you the opportunity of picking up other ideas from the other person. At the same time you will experience the other side of the assertive approach.

Our training is carried out in a risk free environment which encourages delegates to practice the skills needed for successful appraisals. We use a number of training methods including role-play, video, audio, workshops and group exercises to enhance the learning process.

Why choose Total Success for your training?

  • our lead trainers have over 18 years experience in training
  • a maximum of 8 delegates means more time spent on individual needs
  • we guarantee to run the course and will never cancel at the last moment
  • free subscription to our monthly training newsletter

All open courses are trained in Central London at the St Giles Hotel.

Each delegate receives a comprehensive training workbook that doubles as an open course manual. Courses run from 9.30-5.30 with lunch and refreshments provided.

Time Management In-Company Courses

Total Success have developed a series of in-house training modules. These are designed so that an organisation can pick the training which is more applicable to its own needs and budget. Please call us to discuss your specific requirements. If you click on the links below you will see some typical one-day time management course agendas that cover a wide range of subjects from prioritising, delegating, assertiveness, managing interruptions, managing e-mail, using Outlook calendar, tasks etc. In fact we pride ourselves on being able to develop courses that suit all our clients needs and requirements.

Time Management Training Packs

Why use a total success training pack

If you are looking to run your own training course but lack the materials and the time to develop a fully functional training seminar we produce a range of training materials and packs which will suit your requirements exactly. All of our packs and been written by our own time management experts and we can guarantee that the training pack will satisfy your course requirements. Each pack will contain a full set of PowerPoint training slides, trainer’s notes, a course manual, and a full set of handouts and activities.

We have been running our courses since 1995 and have trained 1000’s of people via open courses and in-company seminars. We guarantee that the course you buy is the one we train. All courses are trainer and trainee friendly so you’ll be up and running quickly (depending on your training experience).

We know how difficult it is to choose amongst the many training materials available on line, that’s why we have 3 packages that will suit you needs. With our gold, silver and bronze packages you can choose the training format that’s right for you and your budget. Call us 0044 (0)208 269 1177 to discuss your requirements or email us info@totalsuccess.co.uk

Related information

Total success training also produced a number of newsletter webpages that carry great information on all our training topics.  Below you will find a selection of time management newsletter pages. You can click on any of the links and they will give you stacks of really interesting information relating to time management. If you like the content of these pages you can subscribe to our newsletter page and we will send you a newsletter every month. we update our pages very regularly so will always be more great information each time you log onto our site.

Click on any of these links for stacks of great tips and techniques on managing time

Time Management book’s and publications

The Book. If you really don’t have the time to attend one of our fantastic time management training courses and seminars, don’t worry. You can still enhance your knowledge and skills by purchasing time management training information from our website. Our lead trainer, Warren Wint has written a book entitled ‘Successful Time Management’ which is packed with tips and techniques to help you manage your time more effectively and more efficiently. You can purchase the book by clicking on the link below and downloading it to your own computer

Bite-sized Training Guides. We had also produced a range of bite-sized training guides on various subjects relating to time management. These short guides are written to give enough information on the topics that interest you. We include topics such as managing e-mail, setting goals and prioritising, the art and skill of effective delegation, and managing busy workloads and deadlines. These are designed for you to work through your topics in approximately 30 to 40 min, and not only give you valuable information but also include exercises and activities to enable you to learn at your own pace and on the go. These are very competitively priced at 99p each because we want you to not only gain valuable information but also to keep coming back and purchasing more to enable you to become a fabulous manager of time. Click the links below and download our training guides as PDF documents so you will be able to start achieving your goals today!

Podcasts

We produce a range of podcasts and audio downloads that you can download to hear how we conduct our training courses. These are available in live audio if you click on the links below and it’s almost like being on one of our courses. They allow you to hear how we carry out some of the topics in our time management training courses. If you like them and want to hear more please go to our Podcast pages on the website

This course will allow delegates to develop confidence and self-esteem so that their opinions will no longer go un-noticed in the workplace. Assertiveness training will provide delegates with effective tactics to build courage and defy work bullies. Those who have attended the courses have expressed that becoming more assertive at work was made easier once they applied the techniques gained from the seminar.

 Related information

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