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These Are the Most Basic Forms of Assertiveness Techniques

Sep 6, 2008
There are many known techniques when it comes to learning to be assertive. Development of this behavior is often based on the so-called 3-line assertion message which are:

* Understanding and outlining the facts of any given situation (stating facts).
* Indicating or pointing out the feelings or reactions to a situation (stating feelings).
* Statement of the requirements, reasons and advantages to other people (stating requirements).

A more concrete example is this: Person A wants to express that he does not want noise when he is in the middle of studying, to Person B. Person A would begin by saying "When you turn up the volume of the TV while I'm studying..." and he would follow this up by saying "...I feel so uncomfortable." The last part of the message is to deliver the solution to the current problem without being overbearing. The suggested solution could be started with the phrase "I would like..."

In this scenario, Person A is able to relate the act that causes the offense followed by his feelings toward this act. The last part of the message is often the make or break point. The last part should be delivered in a calm manner so that positive reaction can be reaped.

Negative reactions can only sprout when swearing or accusations ensue. The emphasis of assertiveness is how to indicate feelings and other emotions without gaining aggressive reactions from the recipient of the message.

Assertive Delivery of the Concern

There are many ways that assertiveness can be mastered:

1. Being aggressive means being honest to oneself and one's emotions (acceptance of strengths and weaknesses).

2. The simple and direct technique must be used in delivering the message. This means that the simplest sentence would be far greater than beating around the bush and groping for words to say.

3. The reactions must be thought of long before the situations present themselves. This means coming up with dialogues that are appropriate for a given scenario.

4. Objections can be overcome with the use of clarification and reiteration (but never in a forceful manner).

5. Assertion is never effective without body language and an individual with the right body moves at the right time would gain favor and not hatred.

6. Respect is always a mutual matter and being assertive is being respectful of other people's opinions and feelings. It is never right to push one's ideas almost to the point of bullying.

7. Keeping calm and sticking to the message is also necessary.

Praises versus Criticism

Giving praise is the act of commending someone for something that he has done well. Criticism is the exact opposite of this definition. Giving praises should not be used as a tool to manipulate people. Praises that are given in this manner are mere flattery. The best type of praise is the one that has specified the action that merits a commendation. For example, instead of saying "I like the way you handle customers..." a better statement would be "I like the way you handled that concern on Customer A."

A person who is aiming to become assertive must constantly practice giving praises and all the other basic techniques before he should move on to higher levels of assertiveness techniques. Other good situations to practice assertiveness are:

* Refusing to accept additional work due to lack of time.
* Asking for help from someone who is known to be difficult.
* Praising someone who is not a friend.

Practice makes perfect and this is still true with assertiveness. These techniques are nothing without constant practice and determination from the part of the learner.
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