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Appropriate Assertiveness

THE ULTIMATE | MIND-SHIFT

Appropriate Assertiveness | Saying How it is From My Side

Becoming aware of our needs in a situation is a fundamental step in becoming appropriately assertive. Knowing what our needs are doesn’t mean that we have to demand that they be met. Rather, it means we can make more reasoned choices about appropriate action. We may want to negotiate to have these needs met in the situation, or we may seek to have them met in some other way or in some other setting. We may become clear about the priority of our needs – perhaps some have to be met now, whereas others can be put on hold for a while. We may choose in some situations to attend to others’ needs first; or in such a case, perhaps in meeting someone else’s needs, we may be meeting one of our own superordinate needs. (For example, parents will meet their baby’s need for food, not satisfying their own need for sleep, but perhaps satisfying a superordinate need to be a good parent.)
To help us acknowledge what our needs are, it can be helpful to have a sense of what it is reasonable and fair for us to expect in a situation. We may be aware often of others’ claims on us and what they deserve and need, but we may not have a framework of RIGHTS for ourselves.

Objectives:

  • To explore the differences between aggressive, passive and assertive behaviours.
  • To learn the formula for “I” Statements. To develop and practise the skill of active listening.

Session Times: 4hours:

Essential Background: The Win/Win Approach

BEHAVIOURS:
Fight
Flight
Flow

When we’re about to behave in ”fight” mode, do we have different physical and thought reactions than those we have when we’re about to react in ”flight” mode?If we’re able to recognise these reactions, we may then be able to choose a different and often more appropriate behaviour in response to the a particular situation?

 

What is your most usual response to conflict?

Are there times and places when you respond in one way, and others when you respond in another? What are they? What influences this pattern of response?

Are there times in your life when you feel you’re not as assertive as you would like to be?

Becoming aware of our needs in a situation is a fundamental step in becoming appropriately assertive. Knowing what our needs are doesn’t mean that we have to demand that they be met. Rather, it means we can make more reasoned choices about appropriate action

There are lots of ways that we can respond to situations and people. Sometimes it’s appropriate to withdraw, and deal with the issue in some other way or at another time. Sometimes we have legitimate needs and rights to which we want to stay true while acknowledging that others also have needs and rights.
Frequently, the tricky part is knowing how to express what we’re feeling to another person so that person does not become defensive.

After we’ve delivered an “I” Statement, if the other person becomes defensive or doesn’t make an offer to contribute to a solution, what can we do?

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