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Can assertiveness training get you what you want?

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in Admin Pro Forum

Question: “I’ve heard the phrase ‘assertiveness training’ quite a bit over the years, but only recently did I become aware of the program’s use by admins to kickstart their confidence level at work. What does this regimen consist of, and does it get results?”  — Cora, Court Transcriber

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Assertiveness Training February 18, 2013 at 1:39 am

Personal Impact and Effectiveness

Effectively analyse your feelings and those of others and apply techniques to deal with your emotions in order to generate the right impression
Overcome any beliefs that you may hold about your image/behaviour that can impact on the impression you convey and the confidence you feel
Use body language and tone of voice to bring about better personal and business outcomes
Use the techniques of assertiveness without becoming aggressive or submissive
Listen to feedback and ask questions to establish what needs to improve, be clarified or repeated
Apply personal strategies to help you create more impact in an ever changing working environment
Create an action plan to implement your learning in the workplace.
more information about Assertiveness Training

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Kay November 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Assertion training is not meant to change someone’s personality. It is intended to teach new skills to people. I’ve taken an assertion training course several times and kept learning new things. One thing I remember is that people many times confuse assertiveness with aggression, when assertiveness is actually meant to be a middle ground between being stomped on and stomping on someone else.

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Kay November 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Back in the 80′s, the book ‘Your Perfect Right’ was the assertion-training manual. Assertion training was required for my job, and I actually took the class several times because I learned something new every time. The thing I remember most, though, is that some people, in using their new-found tool, confused assertiveness with aggression, and it is still many times abused until a person finds the ‘perfect’ fit. Assertion training helps a person learn to lean towards the middle between being stomped on and stomping on others. I do disagree with the tactic of asking repeatedly until you get what you want. Sometimes you simply don’t get what you want, assertive or not. Assertion training does not change someone’s personality. It is meant to teach people new skills, and it is up to them to implement them. I highly recommend assertion training classes under a trained instructor.

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Holly Heinz November 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I’m not sure how a short training program can change someone’s personality in such a short time. By the time you’re an admin, I would think you’re pretty much set in who you are. I haven’t gone through assertiveness training but I think it would be interesting if it’s how Linda describes it. The stuff about changing passive-aggressive behavior especially–it’s a huge problem!

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Edward J. November 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Even though I wasn’t really a good candidate for the training class I went through (we went through it as a group), I would have to say that this kind of thing is actually ESSENTIAL for some people. If you don’t learn to be assertive at work in the early stages, you’ll spend the rest of your career watching other people get ahead, or at least doing far more than you should be doing for no reward. It should be given in high school if anything! They asked us a bunch of personality questions in the beginning and they perfectly described about ten percent of my co-workers, always getting trounced by what other people want. I think it was a real wake-up call to some of them, especially when the instructor described the scenario of how these workers tend to wind up, stuck in the middle and not really getting why everyone has it better than they do.

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Dora November 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

I think the book that started the whole assertiveness training movement was When I Say No, I Feel Guilty. I’ve never gone through a training course but I do recommend the book.

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Tia November 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I went through assertiveness training and I thought it was a little weird! They had us do a technique called “broken record” where we were told it was a good thing to repeat a request over and over again until you got a different result. Overall it was only a two-day session and I did get some good out of it, but mostly it was in explaining how people become more abusive with their power if they encounter someone who shows weakness.

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Linda November 5, 2012 at 8:21 am

I went through the assertiveness training program several years ago when it was offered free through my community college. It was helpful in a couple of was. First, it stressed your “personal rights” as a worker and a human being and reminded a lot of people that they need to defend their boundaries. Second, I remember a very constructive portion that explained the difference between aggressive and passive-aggressive behavior and let us know that passive-aggressive behavior was the very best way to doom yourself in your career!

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