The Five Ingredients of Assertiveness

How many times did we find ourselves in a position over the festive period when we said ‘yes’ to another get together when we really wanted to say ‘no’ and put our feet up with a glass of port and a slice of cake?  


Like the more difficult workplace conversations, our research shows people often walk away from these situations feeling frustrated or disappointed that they haven’t achieved the best possible outcome for themselves or others.

We are regularly asked to develop people’s assertiveness. To provide our customers with a more flexible, blended approach, we have developed an interactive online module which can be used in isolation or as pre-work for face to face events.  We’ve also identified five key assertive behaviours which when ‘tuned in’ effectively can have a significant impact on the success of your interactions. 

When people are assertive, it’s usually a combination of the following five behaviours:

Feet up

1. Choosing how and when to respond by considering the impact on relationships and the rights of all involved. This also means consciously choosing when not to assert ourselves. 
2. Being direct and honest – remaining objective, communicating facts succinctly and clearly when discussing a situation. Responding rather than reacting. 
3. Treating others with equality and respect.  Asking open and probing questions so that discussions are all inclusive rather than making assumptions. 
4. Taking responsibility – owning their feelings and taking accountability for how we act and think. Using ‘I’ statements for what is being conveyed rather than hiding behind ‘we’.
5. Being constructive – focussing equally on both positive and negative aspects of a situation. Offering and asking for help when needed.
The module includes a video to help identify these behaviours as well as aggressive, passive and passive/aggressive ones. (Click here for a link to a snippet from the video).
Contact us for more information or to be given a free taster of our online assertiveness module.