In the next 5 weeks, I will be facilitating 6 sessions of a two-day leadership course for frontline supervisors that includes a segment about communication skills. The segment features a fairly lengthy discussion and a few practical exercises about assertiveness, especially about how to be assertive without coming across as being aggressive and about not getting onto passive-aggressive mode through the use of hurtful sarcastic remarks. People never do that at work, do they?
As usual when I am about to give training on a topic I haven’t covered in a while, I dig into some of the content a bit more in depth to refresh my thinking on it, to rethink how I am going to explain the concepts, to come up with new examples.
So, back to Sam Lloyd. Like all Crisp series books, it is very practical. It can be used for self-study, or as a source book for training on this topic. It is divided in 7 parts. The first part describes what is assertive behavior. The second and third part focus on the cognitive and emotional drivers of behaviors. In the 4th part, the author provides advice on changing behaviors by describing the characteristic of assertive, nonassertive and agressive behaviors. He also specifies what language choices correspond to each one. Parts 5 and 6 turn to 4 ways of being assertive and how to effectively communicate in each. Finally, part 7 focuses on assertive confrontation, which is directly applicable to giving effective feedback and managing performance at work. The book contains a number of self-assessment and quizzes as well as suggested application exercises.
Lloyd, Sam R. Developing Positive Assertiveness: Practical Techniques for Personal Success. 3rd edition. Crisp Fifty-Minute Series. Thomson NETg, Boston, MA, 2002.