team technology
What is assertiveness'

How To Be More Assertive

What is

Four styles

Rights and

Positive beliefs

Being direct

disagreement constructively

Managing the other
person's behaviour
by enforcing
a process

Building rapport

Focusing on facts

Focusing on

Stopping put-down

Text Book Techniques

action planning

Four Styles

How To Be More Assertive: Part 2 (continued)

The four styles are tactics that can be used in different situations. The tactic that it is appropriate to use most often is 'negotiate'; the other tactics are used less often and in particular circumstances.

For example, it is appropriate to demand something in an emergency. If you are in a shop and a friend collapses with a heart attack, you would tell someone to phone to call an ambulance. And in those circumstances, it is appropriate for the other person either to concede use of the phone or to make the call themselves (negotiating over payment for the call would be inappropriate). Other people in the shop may want to purchase products, but decide that they should withdraw, to allow the emergency services access: both the shop and the shopper lose out, but with good reason.

This is an extreme example, but each of these tactics can also be used appropriately in normal circumstances. For example, it can be appropriate in the middle of a negotiation to "withdraw", in order to collect your thoughts or reflect on the progress so far. Sometimes you may decide to concede simply because you want to 'choose your battles', and only spend time on those issues that are worth the time and effort.

Inappropriate use of tactics

From the above examples you can see that there are times when it is appropriate to be unassertive. It depends on the circumstances, and it is your choice.

Problems tend to arise, however, when unassertiveness becomes a habit, or when the wrong tactics are used for the situation. If you meet a mugger in the street, for example, the most sensible thing to do is withdraw (if that is possible): trying to negotiate is rarely a sensible strategy in that circumstance.

Another example of inappropriate unassertiveness is when you boss asks you to do something extra and it causes you a problem with your workload. Many people simply 'concede' to a boss' request, but the most appropriate strategy is to negotiate. A failure to negotiate could result in you having to work long hours, or you failing to complete some other aspect of your job on time because you are doing what your boss asked.

Life Stance

A 'life stance' is a tendency to use a particular tactic as the first, or even only, choice.

You get
what you want
Submissive Assertive
You don't get
what you want
Passive- Aggressive Aggressive
I don't get
what I want
I get
what I want


Which of the four styles do you tend to use more than others'


Which of the four styles (if any) do you find it difficult to use'


How To Be More Assertive:
Part 3: Rights and Responsibilities