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"Most new jobs won’t come from our biggest employers. They will come from our smallest. We’ve got to do everything we can to make entrepreneurial dreams a reality."
Ross Perot


         Assertiveness Training: Are You Assertive or Aggressive?

If you are a manager, then we don’t have to tell you that managers are often over-worked and under-appreciated. You have so many different hats to wear, and too many people to keep up with. Because of the pressure on your time and energy, it is easy to settle into a task-driven routine that limits the productivity of your team because it reduces your effectiveness as a leader. That’s right, a manager isn’t just a boss, she is also a leader, and there is a big difference. We have designed a special course – The Manager As Leader – for folks just like you. If you are looking for a resource to help you develop the effective leadership skills to make yourself and your team more successful, your search is over.

Are You Assertive or Aggressive?

Some people think assertiveness is aggression - a verbalattack (or worse) on another person. Others think they'rebeing assertive, when in fact they're being rude oroverbearing. Surveys show that skill ininterpersonal communication tops the list for success - orfailure - in any workplace, whether you own it, lead it, orwork in it.

Skillful assertiveness goes hand in hand with a person'sconfidence, good judgment, decision making,performance, health, and overall effectiveness. From abusiness perspective, an assertive employee or leader canhelp:

Reduce confusion and inefficiencies caused by misunderstandings and crossed wires
Clearly communicate one's vision and goals
Motivate others to rally around an idea or program
Eliminate the meetings, tough decisions, and backpedaling that result from someone's original intention to "keep the peace" rather than be assertive
Assertiveness can help strengthenrelationships, reduce stress, improve your self-image, andmake you more successful. So why isn't everyone assertive? People cite fear of reprisals, reluctance to rock the boat, desire to please others, and lowconfidence as reasons why they are not assertive. While ittakes honest self-awareness and hard work to realize whyyou are not assertive, you can learn how to be more assertive and apply it to your interactions.

Practical tips for being assertive

Realize that it's all in your head. In situations whereyou feel you are not speaking your mind, ask yourself why and then ask, "What's the worst thing that couldhappen if I share my thoughts in a civil, clear manner?"The answers to these questions may very well be all youneed to calm down and act assertively.Very often, people will see how silly their fears are andthat the fears are rooted in their minds, not reality.
Let your intentions motivate your response. Allowyourself to take a moment and identify your beliefs,opinions, and intentions for sharing a thought. The desire toplease others often gets in the way of a person'sthinking process and opinion formation.
Be specific. Don't say, "We need that ASAP." Insteadsay, "I need the proposal finished and on my desk by 8a.m. Friday. What do you need to accomplish that?" The more you can avoid assumptions or mixed messages, thebetter.
Don't feign agreement. Don't substitute smiling,nodding, or adopting other body language that suggestsagreement just for the sake of keeping the peace.Disagree actively, but do it in a civil manner! Express disagreement with the idea, not the person -- for example, "I haveanother opinion, which I'd like to throw on the table."
Ask for clarification. Request more information whenasked to do something you believe is unreasonable.Perhaps the explanation will help you understand therequest more fully and give you the confidence andassurance to say yes or no.
Sarah Fenson


"Are You An Effective Leader?"

Assertiveness Training Quote
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Unknown author

Suggested Reading:
Asserting Yourself: A Practical Guide for Positive Change
by Sharon Anthony Bower, Gordon H. Bower

The Assertive Woman (Personal Growth)
by Stanlee Phelps, Nancy Austin

Assertive Discipline: Positive Behavior Management for Today's Classroom
by Lee Canter, Marlene Canter

Assertive Option: Your Rights and Responsibilities
by Patricia Jakubowski

The Assertive Woman (Personal Growth)
by Stanlee Phelps, Nancy Austin

Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline: Positive Behavior Management for Today's Classroom
by Lee Canter, Marlene Canter

Lee Canter's Assertive Discipline Elementary Workbook, Grades K-5
by Lee Canter

Responsible Assertive Behavior: Cognitive/Behavioral Procedures for Trainers
by Arthur J. Lange

Your Perfect Right: A Guide to Assertive Living (Professional Edition of Your Perfect Right, Vol. 1)
by Robert E. Alberti, Michael Emmons

The New Assertive Woman
by Lynn Z. Bloom

Your Perfect Right: A Guide to Assertive Living
by Robert E. Alberti, Michael L. Emmons

Facing the Schoolyard Bully: How to Raise and Assertive Child in an Aggressive World
by Kim Zarzour

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