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Document Quick Links:

• Introduction
• What assertiveness is and is not
• What it can do for you
• How to develop assertiveness skills
• Help


The following provides information on the benefits of being assertive and tips for how
to develop assertive skills.

Many college students find it difficult to express their feelings honestly and openly
because they lack assertiveness. This can become a problem when building a
relationship, going out in the career world or communicating with friends, family
members,and co-workers.

What is Assertiveness?

Assertiveness is the ability to express your feelings, opinions, beliefs, and needs
directly, openly and honestly, while not violating the personal rights of others.
Assertiveness does not in any way means being aggressive. Aggressive behavior is
self enhancing at the expense of others. It does not take other individual's rights into

What Assertiveness is Not

Many students seem to confuse assertive behavior with aggression. Aggression is

self-enhancing behavior at the expense of others. Your classmates, friends and
associates feelings are ignored, violated and not taken into consideration when
interacting with them. Furthermore, as a result of aggressive behavior, they feel hurt,
humiliated, angry, and revengeful.

What Will Assertiveness Do for You?

• Develop your communication skills.

• Allow you to feel self-confident.
• Increase your self-esteem.
• Help you to gain the respect of others.
• Improve your decision-making ability.

How to Develop Assertive Skills

• Be direct, honest, and open about your feelings, opinions and needs. State
reasonable requests directly and firmly. State your goals or intentions in a
direct and honest manner. State your point of view without being hesitant or
apologetic. Being responsible for your own behavior will let you feel good
about yourself.
• Do not let your friends, classmates etc impose or reinforce their behaviors,
values and ideas on you. Instead , let them know what you think, feel and
• Be honest when giving and receiving compliments. Never put down a
compliment and don't feel you must return one.
• Learn to say no to unreasonable requests. Use the word "no" and offer an
explanation if you choose to. Do not apologize and do not make up excuses.
Paraphrase the other person's point of view. This will let he/she know that you
hear and understand the request.
• Avoid "why" questions. " Why" questions allows the listener to be defensive.
• Recognize and respect the rights of your friends, classmates, roommates etc.
For example if you are upset with them use "I" and "we" statements to
express your feelings, instead of blaming and finger pointing "you"
• When communicating with others use an appropriate tone of voice and body
posture. Maintain eye contact. Tone of voice should be appropriate to the
situation. Stand or sit at a comfortable distance from the other person.
Gestures can be used to emphasize what is being said and the word "I" and
"we" should be used in statements to convey your feelings. For example, it is
more appropriate to say "I am very disappointed that you didn't show up as
plan", instead of saying, "Man, you are a jerk".
• Ask for feedback.

Help! Where to find it.

Counseling Services (645-2720)

120 Richmond Quad
Ellicott Complex
Copyright - Counseling Services, State University of New York at Buffalo
Developing Your Assertive Skills

Intended For: Employees who want to develop assertive behavior skills, particularly
in work situations.

Description: Assertiveness is the ability to express oneself honestly and directly

while respecting one's own rights and the rights of others. This essential skill is used
throughout the workplace in day-to-day dealings with other people as well as in
effective supervision and management situations. In this workshop, you will learn
effective communication and feedback skills which will support assertive behavior,
strategies for dealing with criticism and a method for developing scripts to deal with
difficult workplace situations. During the first two sessions, you will practice the
following skills:

List of Topics Covered:

 Assessing your behavioral style for dealing with others

 Identifying your rights and responsibilities as an assertive person
 Giving behavioral feedback
 Applying effective assertive techniques
 Developing scripts for asserting yourself in special situations
 Understanding how you relate to authority figures

A three-hour follow-up session reinforces this training by reviewing your progress in

applying assertive skills and discussing strategies for coping with defensive reactions
and personal criticism.

Grace Balch, UCSD Staff Education And Development

Jacqueline Gadois, UCSD Geisel Library

Fee: No Fee

 Section 1:
January 13, 1999: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 14, 1999: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
February 25, 1999: 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
 Section 2:
May 18, 1999: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
May 20, 1999: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
June 24, 1999: 1:30 AM - 4:30 PM
 Section 3:
July 22, 1999: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
July 23, 1999: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
August 26, 1999: 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Torrey Pines Center South, Suite 265A, Learning Center

From our Video Library:

 When I Say No, I Feel Guilty
 So Who's Perfect? How To Give And Receive Criticism
 Coping With Difficult People: Part I
 Coping With Difficult People: Part II

Assertiveness Skills Training Courses

Assertiveness skills, Dealing With Difficult People, Stress Management

and Time Management are some of the courses trained by Total
Success Training in London and throughout the UK. We have over 15
years experience training people on strategies to improve productivity
and enhance self development.

Click here for details of our 2003 OPEN COURSE SCHEDULE which lists
all current course dates and prices or visit our HOME PAGE.

Assertiveness Skills

Assertion means standing up for what you want. Stating your needs
clearly. It means 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 a ‘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 in which both parties benefit.

Assertiveness training courses and workshops can help delegates

increase work effectiveness and productivity, achieve greater control
of their daily activities and overcome work stressors.

The Benefits of Assertiveness Training

Our assertive training seminars enable candidates to understand the

processes which will make them more effective and increase their
confidence and sense of achievement. The course will enable
delegates to:

• manage colleagues and friends effectively

• enjoy a more balanced lifestyle
• increase work effectiveness and productivity
• feel more in control of their daily activities
• reduce stress

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

• Assertiveness self-assessment
• Learn to recognise assertive behaviour and its positive results
in the workplace
• Developing assertive body language
• Developing assertive language
• Developing confidence and self-esteem
• Developing an assertive vocal image
• Giving feedback, criticism and praise
• Recognising your 'self-talk'
• Understanding and asserting your rights
• Challenging and changing internal dialogue
• Accessing external resources and self-help strategies
• Simple assertive techniques and exercises
• Recognising assertive, aggressive and passive behaviours in
yourself and others
• Reacting to and managing aggressive and passive behaviours in
• Practise assertive behaviour
• Individual rights and responsibilities
• Taking the first steps to becoming assertive
• How to say "no" with confidence and without feeling guilty

A Typical Assertiveness Course Agenda




Introduction/course aims and objectives

Recognising assertive, aggressive and passive behaviours

Questionnaire-Assertiveness style analysis




Understanding stress and assertiveness

Analysing our specific reactions in pressure situations
Becoming more assertive
Understanding your rights


Becoming more assertive (continued)

How to increase your self confidence
Getting advice
Tips for assertive delivery




Positive assertion
Giving feedback
Handling conflict
Role-play and critique


Action plans
Course paperwork
Questions and answers

Click here for information on Assertiveness Self Assertion Analysis

Click here for answers to Self Assertion Analysis

Click here for tips on Becoming More Assertive

Click here for tips on time management, delegation and people


We believe the web is a fantastic place for marketing and promotion

but we believe that there should be access to free information which is
in abundance on many sites. Total Success have searched the web for
free information on assertiveness and you can find these on our
assertiveness links page. If you know of other sites which contain
relevant information or to inform me that a particular site does no
longer exist (many sites come and go at a fast rate on the web), please
e-mail us. The criteria for inclusion is a site which has a lot of free
information on assertiveness skills and not companies promoting
courses or products.

Click here for assertiveness links

For further information on Assertiveness, Time Management and other

courses, please call on 020 8858 6900 (in the UK), (+44) 20 8858 6900
(world-wide) or e-mail on
If you require information on our other courses, please click on the
following links

Time Management

Dealing With Difficult People

Stress Management

Leadership and Team Building

Back to Total Success Home Page

Please contact us on

call us on (+44) 02 8858 6900

or fax us on (+44) 02 8265 0406