Setting boundaries and making sure they aren't overstepped can be difficult for people new to assertiveness. Try these easy tips to get the ball rolling…Broken record
One of the most effective methods of assertive communication is the broken record technique, which involves repeating the assertion that you are unable to provide assistance.
For example, if John were to ask Ayanda to please finish the printing for him by three o'clock, but Ayanda's agenda is already full, a conversation like this might follow:
John: Ayanda, please can you finish up the printing for me, I need it by 3 0'clock.
Ayanda: No, John, I'm sorry, I can't. I've got three of my own projects due this week and I really don't have the time.
John: Oh, please, it won't take you very long?
Ayanda: No, I really can't, John, I have my own deadlines to meet.
John: I'll owe you one?
Ayanda: No, John, I can't help you, I'm sorry but I have my own deadlines to meet.
John: Ok then, I'll see if Thomas can help me.
Another great method of assertive communication is to use "I" statements, which focus on your own personal feelings about certain actions or behaviours instead of the person they involve.
"I" statements typically centre around how specific behaviours make you feel and what you would like to see happen to make them right.
E.g. "When I think I'm not being heard I feel like…." "What I would like to see happen is…"
Want to improve your own assertiveness? Contact Staff Training at info@StaffTraining.co.za or (021) 839 3021 to find out when our next Assertiveness workshop is being held.