When I run Assertiveness exercises in development workshops, the actual practice of using assertive responses, is by far the most popular session.
Following the steps we have outlined previously for a difficult work situation, might go as follows.
1. Describe the other person’s behaviour objectively. Be careful to do this without judging.
"When you leave it this late to produce the figures for the report...
2. Describe the impact of the person’s behaviour on you, be specific, clear and don't apologise or generalise.
" it results in me working all weekend...
3. Say how the behaviour makes you feel, honestly.
"I feel annoyed about this...
4. Say how you would want the behaviour to be in the future.
"in future I would like to receive the figures by Friday lunch time"
Her are some additional scenarios that you might come across, together with possible responses.
Your Boss is pushing you with unreasonable deadlines.
You could say: "As I understand it, we agreed that Project A was the top priority. Now you're asking me to get Project B out tomorrow. I'd like to clarify which is now the priority."
Conflict between sections at work.
You might say: "Sarah, recently we agreed that we wanted to improve cooperation between our departments, but you have just made statements about us that make it difficult for us to cooperate. I still believe that we can improve the situation, so I'd like to talk to you about it."
All of the techniques I have described need practice and it can be helpful to keep a record of the situations in which you have been assertive, recognising what has worked well and what needs improvement.
See you on Day Nine...