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The Art of Assertiveness Washoe Tribe  of Nevada & California Don Johnson, Trainer
Objectives: <ul><li>Managing change </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive vs. Aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>Communication techniques ...
3 Benefits of Assertive Communication <ul><li>Set boundaries with aggressive types </li></ul><ul><li>Speak-up confidently ...
The Art of Assertiveness  CHANGE… <ul><li>“ The only constant in business today is change.”  </li></ul><ul><li>Sound famil...
The Art of Assertiveness  CHANGE… <ul><li>To survive and, more importantly, thrive in the business world of today and tomo...
Dealing with change isn’t easy.   <ul><li>Some people seem to enjoy the challenges of change, believing they can handle an...
Dealing with Change <ul><li>Because these people are constantly learning and growing  with  their changing work environmen...
What is Assertive? <ul><li>Assertive vs. Aggressive  </li></ul><ul><li>In the business world, you often hear the word “agg...
Definition  “Assertive” vs. “Aggressive” <ul><li>Assertive  -  “persistently positive or confident” or  “politely persiste...
Difference between being  assertive  and  aggressive <ul><li>How our words and behavior affect the rights and well-being o...
Example <ul><li>Say you’re having trouble with a coworker: </li></ul><ul><li>Monica, has fallen behind on her part of a pr...
3  Crucial  Elements of Assertive Persuasion <ul><li>Credibility  – people believe you know what you’re talking about </li...
How to be Assertive So, just how do you go about being more assertive?   <ul><li>12 Simple Communication Techniques </li><...
How to Be Assertive  12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>2. Discuss your goals and accomplishments.   </li></ul><ul...
How to Be Assertive  12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>3. Show an interest in others.  </li></ul><ul><li>An asser...
How to Be Assertive  12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>4. Match your delivery to your message.   </li></ul><ul><l...
How to Be Assertive  12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>5. Know how to respond to compliments.   </li></ul><ul><li...
How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>6. Disagree mildly.   </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re unsure of...
How to Be Assertive  12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>7. Disagree more emphatically when it’s necessary to get y...
How to Be Assertive  12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>8. Ask for clarification when you’re confused.   </li></ul...
How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>9. Don’t be afraid to ask “Why?”   </li></ul><ul><li>This a...
How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>10. Speak up for yourself.   </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive pe...
How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>11. Be persistent.   </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a reason...
How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>12. Don’t feel compelled to always justify your feelings an...
Exposure Therapy <ul><li>Practicing assertiveness in real-life seems daunting </li></ul><ul><li>Best way to build confiden...
Visualization <ul><li>Imagine yourself handling a difficult scenario assertively </li></ul><ul><li>Helps you relax and rea...
Making Your Messages Assertive <ul><li>When conflict or poor communication is causing problems at work </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Making Your Messages Assertive
Pattern of Conflict <ul><li>“ Avoiding  destructive  pattern of conflict” </li></ul><ul><li>Three roles in the destructive...
Pattern of Conflict Nonassertive, inadequate, helpless, sad, scared, guilty, I’m NOT OK. Stress or low self-esteem attract...
Pattern of Conflict Nonassertive, inadequate, helpless, sad, scared, guilty, I’m NOT OK. Stress or low self-esteem attract...
Pattern of Conflict Nonassertive, inadequate, helpless, sad, scared, guilty, I’m NOT OK. Stress or low self-esteem attract...
Pattern of Conflict <ul><li>PRACTICE, PRACTICE! </li></ul><ul><li>Improving skills requires practice </li></ul><ul><li>Dai...
Assertive communication… Gets to the heart of problems and finds solutions   <ul><li>The most effective way to communicate...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>“ Each step addresses a certain goal” </li></ul><ul><li>  Describe :  </li></ul><...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Express :  </li></ul><ul><li>Using restraint, calmly express how you feel. Rememb...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Specify:   </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully explain how you would like the problem to ...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Consequences:   </li></ul><ul><li>Lay your cards on the table. Tell the target pe...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Example ...  </li></ul><ul><li>Here’s how you might handle the problem with your ...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Express :  “This situation really puts our team in a bad light. Plus, it’s import...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Specify :  “Is there something I or other members of the team can do to help you ...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Consequences :  “If you can’t complete the research today, I’ll have to tell the ...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>When using the  DESC  technique or any kind of assertive communication, remember ...
4 Step Process   “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>The Benefits of Being Assertive   </li></ul><ul><li>Each year, companies spend bi...
A few other benefits… <ul><li>Every problem seems to have a “win-win” solution. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assertive communicat...
A few other benefits… <ul><li>Assertive behavior can actually reduce physical and mental stress because people feel less l...
A few other benefits… <ul><li>Employees concentrate on what’s within their control, rather than what’s beyond their contro...
<ul><li>As you can see, it pays to be assertive in the workplace, especially when change and uncertainty are the only cons...
<ul><li>Please be sure to complete and leave the evaluation sheet you received with your handouts.  </li></ul><ul><li>Than...
Recommended Reading : <ul><li>Asserting Yourself:  A Practical Guide to Positive Change ,  </li></ul><ul><li>by Sharon Ant...
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The Art Of Assertiveness

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Learn how to be more assertive and avoid passive-aggressive behavior

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The Art Of Assertiveness

  1. 1. The Art of Assertiveness Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California Don Johnson, Trainer
  2. 2. Objectives: <ul><li>Managing change </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive vs. Aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>Communication techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding the Drama Triangle </li></ul><ul><li>4 Step Process (DESC) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul>
  3. 3. 3 Benefits of Assertive Communication <ul><li>Set boundaries with aggressive types </li></ul><ul><li>Speak-up confidently for yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Expressing your ideas so you are perceived as a valuable asset </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Art of Assertiveness CHANGE… <ul><li>“ The only constant in business today is change.” </li></ul><ul><li>Sound familiar?…If it doesn’t, it should. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the new reality for working people in every type of job, in every industry, in every city and town. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Art of Assertiveness CHANGE… <ul><li>To survive and, more importantly, thrive in the business world of today and tomorrow, working people must accept and adapt to changes like these: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New technology constantly requires new skills. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downsizing means each person assumes more work and more responsibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mergers and realignments bring changes in job duties, career paths, compensation, retirements and benefits. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Dealing with change isn’t easy. <ul><li>Some people seem to enjoy the challenges of change, believing they can handle anything that comes their way. When they face obstacles, they find solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>And although they may experience moments of uncertainty or indecisiveness, they quickly get back on track, hang in there and eventually make good things happen. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dealing with Change <ul><li>Because these people are constantly learning and growing with their changing work environment, they can be labeled as both optimistic and assertive . </li></ul><ul><li>Optimism – shows in a person’s outlook on life and their personality. </li></ul><ul><li>Assertiveness - While it’s difficult, if not impossible, to change your basic personality, it’s certainly possible to learn to be more assertive — to go after and get what you want. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What is Assertive? <ul><li>Assertive vs. Aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>In the business world, you often hear the word “aggressive.” </li></ul><ul><li>Companies talk about their “aggressive” growth plans. </li></ul><ul><li>Sales managers tell their people to be “aggressive” when calling on clients. </li></ul><ul><li>Customer service reps are instructed to “aggressively” solve customer problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Children are told to be aggressive in sports. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Definition “Assertive” vs. “Aggressive” <ul><li>Assertive - “persistently positive or confident” or “politely persistent” </li></ul><ul><li>Aggressive - “full of enterprise and initiative; bold and active; pushing; starting fights or quarrels; ready or willing to engage in direct action; militant” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  Depending on your preferred definition: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Aggressive” can be either positive or negative. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typically, it’s used to describe behavior that’s pushy, abrasive or too forceful. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Difference between being assertive and aggressive <ul><li>How our words and behavior affect the rights and well-being of other people. </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>champions our own rights and well-being </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>without violating those of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>take feelings and needs into consideration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shows respect </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Example <ul><li>Say you’re having trouble with a coworker: </li></ul><ul><li>Monica, has fallen behind on her part of a project assigned to your whole team. </li></ul><ul><li>As an assertive communicator, you have the right to privately express your displeasure to Monica and ask her to do her share of the work. </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time, Monica has the right to tell her side of the story — perhaps a family situation has caused her work productivity to drop. </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever the case, the two of you could rationally and reasonably discuss the situation and focus on finding a mutually agreeable solution to the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Both could “win.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. 3 Crucial Elements of Assertive Persuasion <ul><li>Credibility – people believe you know what you’re talking about </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional Connection – people oriented / task oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Logic – based on situation / audience </li></ul>
  13. 13. How to be Assertive So, just how do you go about being more assertive? <ul><li>12 Simple Communication Techniques </li></ul><ul><li>  1. Use “I” messages and “feeling” verbs. </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive communicators personalize their comments by starting sentences with the word “I” and by choosing verbs that express feelings. “I enjoyed your presentation” makes a stronger statement than “Your presentation was well-done.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>2. Discuss your goals and accomplishments. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to tell coworkers: “I plan to improve my performance this month” or “I’m proud that I won the employee of the month award for last month.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  15. 15. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>3. Show an interest in others. </li></ul><ul><li>An assertive communicator can read another person’s body language, or tone of voice and react appropriately with phrases like “I’m glad you got that promotion” or “I see you’re relieved that project’s over.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>4. Match your delivery to your message. </li></ul><ul><li>To be believable, your own body language and vocal expression should reinforce what you’re saying. </li></ul>
  17. 17. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>5. Know how to respond to compliments. </li></ul><ul><li>When someone compliments you, acknowledge it and accept it graciously. </li></ul>
  18. 18. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>6. Disagree mildly. </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re unsure of another person’s thoughts or feelings, state your position firmly, quietly and in a non-demanding, uncritical way. </li></ul>
  19. 19. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>7. Disagree more emphatically when it’s necessary to get your point across . </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re sure someone’s idea isn’t going to work and they’re being stubborn about it, make your message stronger. </li></ul>
  20. 20. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>8. Ask for clarification when you’re confused. </li></ul><ul><li>There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to say, “I want to make sure I understand. Please repeat that.” The other is “Let me repeat what you said to make sure I understand.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  21. 21. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>9. Don’t be afraid to ask “Why?” </li></ul><ul><li>This applies to requests that seem unreasonable, silly or wasteful. Begin with a positive statement, then express your opinion and finally ask a direct question. </li></ul>
  22. 22. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>10. Speak up for yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Assertive people don’t let others take advantage of them. If a request is unreasonable or poorly timed, say “no,” give a brief explanation and don’t feel guilty about it. </li></ul>
  23. 23. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>11. Be persistent. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a reasonable or legitimate request, don’t give up until it’s been fulfilled. </li></ul>
  24. 24. How to Be Assertive 12 Simple Communication Techniques <ul><li>12. Don’t feel compelled to always justify your feelings and opinions. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes an assertive person will have a gut feeling, a hunch, an intuition about something. If that’s the case, just say so. You don’t have to explain everything. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Exposure Therapy <ul><li>Practicing assertiveness in real-life seems daunting </li></ul><ul><li>Best way to build confidence, improve assertiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Overcome anxiety by forcing yourself to participate when you usually have difficulty </li></ul>
  26. 26. Visualization <ul><li>Imagine yourself handling a difficult scenario assertively </li></ul><ul><li>Helps you relax and react more effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Rehearsing can help you be more effective, confident and assertive </li></ul>
  27. 27. Making Your Messages Assertive <ul><li>When conflict or poor communication is causing problems at work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>people typically react passively by doing nothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or aggressively by doing and saying too much </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>others may react in a passive-aggressive manner </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Making Your Messages Assertive
  29. 29. Pattern of Conflict <ul><li>“ Avoiding destructive pattern of conflict” </li></ul><ul><li>Three roles in the destructive Drama Triangle </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone knows how to assume one role </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone has a favorite role </li></ul><ul><li>Learned from childhood, very practiced </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to avoid unless you are aware </li></ul>
  30. 30. Pattern of Conflict Nonassertive, inadequate, helpless, sad, scared, guilty, I’m NOT OK. Stress or low self-esteem attracts rescuers or persecutors . Drama Triangle Persecutor Victim Rescuer
  31. 31. Pattern of Conflict Nonassertive, inadequate, helpless, sad, scared, guilty, I’m NOT OK. Stress or low self-esteem attracts rescuers or persecutors . Nonassertive or aggressive, won’t say “NO”, assumes superiority over victim . Drama Triangle Persecutor Victim Rescuer
  32. 32. Pattern of Conflict Nonassertive, inadequate, helpless, sad, scared, guilty, I’m NOT OK. Stress or low self-esteem attracts rescuers or persecutors . Aggressive, attacking, direct or indirect sabotage, angry, righteous, superior…Makes victims feel they are NOT OK! Nonassertive or aggressive, won’t say “NO”, assumes superiority over victim . Drama Triangle Persecutor Victim Rescuer
  33. 33. Pattern of Conflict <ul><li>PRACTICE, PRACTICE! </li></ul><ul><li>Improving skills requires practice </li></ul><ul><li>Daily practice for at least 21 days is recommended to change old behavior patterns and develop new skills </li></ul>
  34. 34. Assertive communication… Gets to the heart of problems and finds solutions <ul><li>The most effective way to communicate assertively is to prepare a script of what you want to say. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan it, write it out, fine-tune it, memorize it, and practice it — then present it. </li></ul><ul><li>4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” </li></ul><ul><li>Helps you prepare and deliver successful assertive scripts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>  D = Describe E = Express S = Specify C = Consequences </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>“ Each step addresses a certain goal” </li></ul><ul><li>  Describe : </li></ul><ul><li>Objectively describe the problem to the target person, the one who can do something to help resolve it. Be very specific, stating when, where and why the problem occurs. </li></ul>The technique was first formulated in a 1976 book, Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide to Positive Change, (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.), and updated in 1991 by Sharon Anthony Bower and Gordon H. Bower.
  36. 36. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Express : </li></ul><ul><li>Using restraint, calmly express how you feel. Remember to focus on the problem, not the person who’s causing or contributing to it. </li></ul>
  37. 37. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Specify: </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully explain how you would like the problem to be solved and be willing to compromise a bit to reach a solution. Remember, you’re making a request, not a demand. </li></ul>
  38. 38. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Consequences: </li></ul><ul><li>Lay your cards on the table. Tell the target person about the positive consequences or “rewards” that will result if she helps solve the problem. If the target person isn’t willing to help, outline the negative consequences or “punishments” that will result. Then be prepared to follow through. </li></ul>
  39. 39. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Example ... </li></ul><ul><li>Here’s how you might handle the problem with your coworker, Monica, who’s fallen behind on her part of a project that’s been assigned to your whole team. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe : “Monica, I haven’t received your part of the research our team’s supposed to gather for the new strategic plan. It was due to the department director yesterday, and he’s called me twice already to ask about it.” </li></ul>
  40. 40. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Express : “This situation really puts our team in a bad light. Plus, it’s important that we get that strategic plan together as soon as possible.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  41. 41. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Specify : “Is there something I or other members of the team can do to help you finish the research by the end of day? I’ve got a couple of hours I could spend on it this afternoon.” </li></ul>
  42. 42. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>Consequences : “If you can’t complete the research today, I’ll have to tell the department director what has been holding things up. None of us wants that to happen. Let’s get the entire team together in a few minutes and finish this project once and for all. I know everyone will want to pitch in.” </li></ul>
  43. 43. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>When using the DESC technique or any kind of assertive communication, remember to carefully choose your words. </li></ul><ul><li>Your words greatly influence how people respond to you and your requests. </li></ul>
  44. 44. 4 Step Process “ Acronym DESC” <ul><li>The Benefits of Being Assertive </li></ul><ul><li>Each year, companies spend billions of dollars upgrading their employees’ technical, people and customer-service skills. </li></ul><ul><li>What many don’t realize is that assertiveness training can also affect things like customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability. </li></ul><ul><li>By offering this kind of training, companies can teach their employees to solve problems through cooperation and negotiation. </li></ul><ul><li>But that’s just one of the many benefits of an assertive workplace. </li></ul>
  45. 45. A few other benefits… <ul><li>Every problem seems to have a “win-win” solution. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assertive communicators first ask what the other person wants, then quickly negotiate a solution all can live with. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Because problems are solved quickly, resentment, frustration and other tensions that block peak performance are minimized. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps employees become problem-solvers rather than victims of a system they believe they can’t control. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While victims feel paralyzed, assertive people feel empowered to find the best solutions. </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. A few other benefits… <ul><li>Assertive behavior can actually reduce physical and mental stress because people feel less like victims and more like influencers. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees stop procrastinating and start acting. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They form an action plan for success by asking, “What will it take to make my wish (or goal) a reality?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communication becomes clearer and more concise, which reduces misunderstandings and clarifies expectations. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phrases like “I thought you meant ... ” virtually disappear. People speak up and say what’s on their minds. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They aren’t afraid their ideas will be shunned, ridiculed or ignored. </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. A few other benefits… <ul><li>Employees concentrate on what’s within their control, rather than what’s beyond their control. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example : you can always control how you react to a situation, but you can’t control how others react. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instead of wasting time by gossiping and complaining — which accomplish nothing — employees focus on the positive, productive steps they can take to solve problems. </li></ul>
  48. 48. <ul><li>As you can see, it pays to be assertive in the workplace, especially when change and uncertainty are the only constants in today’s business world. </li></ul><ul><li>Being assertive gives you the confidence and communication skills to go after and get what you really want. </li></ul><ul><li>After all, if you don’t stand up for yourself, no one else will. </li></ul>
  49. 49. <ul><li>Please be sure to complete and leave the evaluation sheet you received with your handouts. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for your attention and interest! </li></ul>
  50. 50. Recommended Reading : <ul><li>Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide to Positive Change , </li></ul><ul><li>by Sharon Anthony Bower and Gordon H. Bower (the DESC technique was first formulated in this 1976 book) </li></ul><ul><li>When I Say No, I Feel Guilty </li></ul><ul><li>by Manuel J. Smith, #1 Best Seller on Assertiveness Training </li></ul><ul><li>Your Perfect Right: Assertiveness and Equality in Your Life and Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>by Robert E. Alberti and Michael L. Emmons </li></ul>

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