Assertiveness training is a behavioral technique designed to develop the necessary skills to manage interpersonal situations effectively. Specific areas of training may include developing new strategies for conflict resolution, growth goals and stress management that result in taking a more active approach to self-determination. Used in various settings including schools, corporate boardrooms and vocational programs, it identifies three main styles of communication: aggressive, passive and assertive.
Communicating more assertively and effectively requires developing an understanding of one’s communication style and learning modification of it through application of assertiveness principles. Aggressive individuals express rights and self-enhance at the expense of others (win-lose solution). Passive individuals are self-denying, inhibited and allow others to make choices for them (lose-win solution). Assertive individuals are expressive, self-enhancing, make personal choices that reflect respect for self and others (strives for win-win solution).
Assertiveness can be assessed. When differing with someone, do you speak up and share your viewpoint without hesitation? Do you accept positive criticism and suggestion? Do you have confidence in your own judgment? Do you express thoughts, feelings, intentions, and goals in a direct way? Do you work for a solution that benefits all parties? Assertive behavior is constructive and involves a balance between aggression and passivity that promotes fairness and allows others to experience self-empowerment.
The goal of assertiveness training is to increase the variety and number of situations in which assertive behavior is possible and to become aware of personal rights: You have a right to accept your convictions as legitimate, to negotiate for change, to change your mind, to request clarification, to put yourself first sometimes, to not have to justify yourself to others, to not respond to a situation, to ignore the advice of others, to not anticipate others’ needs or wishes, to have your own opinions, to decide on a different course of action, and to make mistakes.
For more information about assertiveness and self-empowerment contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500.
"Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne