Developing Positive Assertiveness

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Summary

Developing assertiveness is more than just learning to speak differently. Being assertive requires thinking assertively, behaving positively and feeling self-confident. We must all make a conscious effort to be consistently assertive. As we learn to become more assertive we reduce our stress, failures, dissatisfactions and conflicts. Developing assertiveness requires effort but the rewards are worth it. Successful behavior change requires thinking and doing. Behavior change is possible once you understand that it is an evolving, ongoing process that can be accomplished by moving through various stages. This essay discusses and describes the different behavioral types along with recipes to lead to successful behavioral change. It examines the effects of positive mental imagery and the self-fulfilling prophecy towards programming yourself towards success. It explores the four steps for powerful assertiveness along with how to deal and prepare for confrontation. Assertiveness is the antidote to fear, shyness, passivity, and even anger, so there is an astonishingly wide range of situations in which this training is appropriate. The case study demonstrates how after assertiveness training employees feel empowered with tools and skills to handle any communication situation. All of us should insist on being treated fairly — to stand up for our rights without violating the rights of others. This means tactfully, justly and effectively expressing our preferences, needs, opinions and feelings. We do this through the development of positive assertiveness.

 Introduction

When we hear the word assertive most people think of someone standing their ground refusing to give an inch and pushing to have their own way. Others think of someone who is stubborn on certain issues but overall a nice individual. Others do not know what assertive behavior really is. Assertive behavior is a natural style while being honest, direct and respectful while interacting with others. Why is there a need for assertiveness training books and courses? They are essential as most people do not understand the importance of using assertive behavior. As more and more people develop assertiveness and start to influence others, the awareness and acceptance of this behavior type will increase. Everyone should aspire to be assertive – it is a desirable behavior, it is vital for honest, healthy relationships. It is the behavior necessary for positive outcomes in negotiation, normal business dealings, conflict resolution and also in family life. ”The assertive individual is a tower of strength with high self-esteem with clear self-knowledge and able to accept their own shortcomings as well as their strengths.”

Figure 1: The Assertiveness Triangle.

The Three Main Behavioral Types

No one is consistently assertive, we all follow these three basic behavioral types depending on the situation: Passive – this behavior is passive and indirect. It conveys a message of inferiority. By being nonassertive, we allow the needs, wants and rights of others to be more important than our own. It creates a behavior of “win-lose” situations. A nonassertive person loses or is disregarded while allowing others to win. This leads to being a victim not a winner. Aggressive – this behavior is complex, it can be either passive or active. Aggression can be direct or non-direct, honest or dishonest. It communicates an impression of disrespect and superiority. Assertive – this is when a person stands up for their legitimate rights in such a way that the rights of others are not violated. It communicates respect for others behavior. It is an honest, direct and appropriate expression of one’s beliefs, feelings and opinions.

Figure 2: Assertiveness, graph mode.

Figure 3: The different behavioral types.

Figure 4: Examples of the different types of behavior.

Successful Change of Behavior

Successful behavior change requires thinking and doing. Behavior change is...
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