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The Importance of Assertiveness Skills Training and Effective Communication

Workplace Goals with Assertive Communication: A Psychologist Perspective

We explore the importance of assertiveness skills training and how effective communication can improve your confidence and key relationships at work and with family and friends. One essential communication skill is assertiveness. You can explain yourself clearly and support your viewpoint by being assertive. It encourages you to respect the rights and views of yourself and others. You find added benefits including an increase in your self-esteem. Assertive communication also allows one to maintain healthy relationships with others by fostering respect and establishing trust, thereby reducing stress. If you frequently take on too many responsibilities because you find it difficult to say no, assertive communication might be especially helpful to you in reducing stress. In the short term, the thought of changing your communication to be more assertive may feel more stressful and anxiety-provoking, however longer term it will feel more settling.

To start, you need to feel distressed which comes with being assertive, often described as feeling very uncomfortable- this is short-lived and the benefits will be felt after a period of time. Think about it – no more tucking everything that upsets you or offends you under the rug. No more being frustrated for being taken advantage of at work with those overtime.

Some people have a natural tendency to be assertive. But if you’re not, you can develop assertiveness. Assertiveness can help you control stress, anger, and communication difficulties and improve your coping skills. Recognize and learn assertive communication and behaviour skills.

What are assertiveness skills?

Assertiveness is a key skill that can help you to manage yourself, other people, and situations more effectively. You can use it to your advantage to influence people to accept, agree with, or change their behaviour. It involves having the confidence and positivity to voice your ideas. Assertive people are in charge of themselves and truthful with both others and themselves.

What is assertive skill training?

A form of therapy called assertive training teaches patients confidence-boosting practices. It helps people in learning to express their desires more effectively, particularly those who tend to be passive in doing so. Assertiveness training enables people to direct their need to be heard in healthier ways and, over time, develop confidence, as opposed to immediately turning to aggression.

Assertiveness training often referred to as assertion training, is centred on assisting you in speaking for yourself, expressing your demands, and maintaining your boundaries without compromising on that of others.

What are common improvements when applying assertive communication in your daily life?

  • Group settings
  • Families
  • Schools playground or classroom
  • Corporate settings
  • Therapeutic settings
  • Medical settings

Assertive communication can assist with a range of situations including:

  • Negotiations at work, such as handling a difficult coworker or asking for a raise 
  • Setting boundaries with others 
  • Mindfully confronting something that has bothered you 
  • Addressing toxic people in your life 
  • Public speaking 
  • Social anxiety 
  • Stage fright 
  • Getting what you want 
  • Saying no 
  • Improving self-esteem 
  • Sharing feelings/experiences with others 
  • Communication with a partner 

What difficulties can be overcome when using assertive communication skills?

Although learning assertive communication can be challenging, you can develop this new skill and change the way you communicate. You may identify, challenge, and change the beliefs, feelings, and behaviours that might be getting in the way of your ability to speak successfully with the help of assertiveness training, which combines cognitive and behavioural strategies. You will learn how to convey your thoughts, feelings, and needs while also taking into account the perspectives and needs of others through active practice in assertiveness training.

Additionally, it can help you learn other helpful communication techniques including how to refuse something, how to provide and receive constructive feedback, and how to handle and de-escalate a conflict. Having these communication skills can help you feel less anxious in social situations, increase your conversational efficiency, and ultimately improve your overall self-confidence.

What types of strategies are used in therapy to improve assertive communication skills?’

Assertiveness training can cover a wide range of subjects and improve abilities including body language, setting personal boundaries, being direct without being impolite and establishing one’s values. Skills for assertive training include:

  • Establishing personal boundaries and spaces;
  • using “I” statements; 
  • being straightforward without being impolite; 
  • using good body language; 
  • knowing how to deal with challenging emotions at the moment; 
  • How to maintain one’s independence; 
  • How to spot deceptive communications; 
  • How to establish one’s own value; 
  • How to develop empathy; 
  • How to feel at ease asking for more time.

Developing assertiveness is a great method to boost confidence and communication. Although some of these new skills can take some time to learn, the effort is usually effective. You can advance greatly in your understanding of assertiveness training techniques by working with a professional.

<strong>Written by Psychologist Emily Burton at Positive Wellbeing Psychology</strong>
Written by Psychologist Emily Burton at Positive Wellbeing Psychology

Emily’s clients have described her as warm and genuine in her approach and often describe feelings of comfort and trust very early on in therapy. Emily’s bubbly and friendly nature tends to establish a warm and genuine professional relationship that fosters trust and comfort for her clients, which she believes is paramount in order to achieve successful therapy.

Emily has a special interest in working with her clients to achieve their career aspirations, improve their relationships, and to better manage difficult family dynamics. Emily is experienced in the management of anxiety, depression, low self-worth, stress and burnout, work addiction, loss of direction in life, goal setting, perfectionism, low self-esteem, adjustment to life changes, Adult ADHD, poor body image and binge eating disorder.

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