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Basic assertive communication

  1. 1. Effective Communication Speaking Up Assertively Linda D Tillman, PhD www.SpeakUpForYourself.com This presentation is the property of Linda Tillman ©Linda Tillman, 2007, All rights reserved
  2. 2. Effective Communication 1. Respectful 2. Fact-based 3. Well-thought out 4. Assertive, not aggressive 5. Genuine
  3. 3. Speakupforyourself  Assertiveness is a philosophy of respect – it is not a formula for speaking  Expressing oneself assertively occurs:  Nonverbally  Verbally  Interactively
  4. 4. Nonverbal Aspects: Areas on which to focus  Eye Contact  Voice Tone  Posture  Personal Space  Facial expression  Use of Gesture
  5. 5. Eye Contact  The nonassertive person uses very little eye contact  The aggressive person never drops eye contact  The assertive person uses direct eye contact about 50 % of the time
  6. 6. Voice Tone  Nonassertive: Too soft, hard to hear  Aggressive: Too loud  Assertive: Well-modulated tone of voice  Caution: Letting your voice rise at the end of a sentence interjects a note of uncertainty and implies that you are asking the other person, rather than telling him/her
  7. 7. Posture  Nonassertive person: Folds into themselves and makes themselves small. Fidgets  Aggressive person: Confrontive. Stands up and leans into the other person’s space  Assertive person: Stands up straight and tall
  8. 8. Position and Space  Respect means keeping on the same level  Sit when other is seated,  Stand when other is standing  Stay about arm’s length apart  Standing or sitting at an angle allows each person to escape
  9. 9. Facial Expression  Facial expression should reflect the emotion you are expressing  “I am angry” requires a serious expression  “I am delighted” requires a happy expression
  10. 10. Gestures: Notice these gestures  Hands on hips: aggressive  Nodding head “yes”  Pointing with pen in aggressive gesture  Clenching fist  Shaking head “no”
  11. 11. Effective Verbal Communication Nonverbal is the foundation – now let’s look at effective verbal communication
  12. 12. Good Assertive Listening  Nonverbal Listening  Verbal Responsive Listening  Restatement  Reflection  Clarification  Good Listening results in helpful free Information Note: If you are thinking about what you are going to say next, you are NOT listening
  13. 13. Nonverbal Listening  Nod your head to indicate that you are listening  Lean in toward the other person to indicate that you are attending to him/her  Make sounds like, “Oh,” or “Um-hmmm” or “I see what you are saying,” to indicate that you are paying attention
  14. 14. Restatement, Reflection, Clarificatio n  Restatement:  Say back to the other person what you have heard him/her say to you  Reflection:  Indicate what you both saw, heard and interpreted when he/she spoke  Clarification:  Ask speaker to be more definite about a point or to clear up an assumption you are making or a conclusion you are drawing.
  15. 15. Free Information  Listen for information that the person shares in the process of making a point.  Example:  Speaker: When I was teaching school, I remember how hard it was to figure percentages  Free information: Speaker was a teacher; Speaker may have a hard time with math
  16. 16. Elements of Assertive Communication  Soft Assertion  Basic Assertion  Empathic Assertion  Escalating Assertion  Confrontive Assertion
  17. 17. Soft Assertion  A soft assertion is a statement that does not require anything of the listener  A compliment is a soft assertion because you can or cannot respond; you can throw the compliment away (“Oh, this old thing!”) or you can say, “Thank you.”  A shirt that has a message on it such as “Save the Whales” is a soft assertion because you do not have to respond, but you get the stand the person is taking when you read the shirt
  18. 18. Basic Assertion  A Basic Assertion is a simple statement of what you want or don’t want to happen  “I would like to go to a movie tonight.”  “I don’t want to have to drive carpool today.” The Basic Assertion is strengthened by its simplicity. Too much detail or explanation complicates the request or stand you take.
  19. 19. Empathic Assertion  The Empathic Assertion is the most effective assertive statement one can make  The empathic assertion attempts to imagine how the other person may be thinking or feeling before you make a basic assertion:  “I imagine you may be feeling frustrated with the lack of deadlines for this project, but I want us to get everything right before we set an endpoint.”  “If I were you, I’d want to avoid talking about this, but I’d like to discuss how to parent our 2 year old when he/she has a temper tantrum.”
  20. 20. Escalating Assertion  The Escalating Assertion has a consequence attached to it.  “If you come in after midnight one more time, I’ll take away your car.”  “If you get this grant funded, I’ll make sure you get a raise in your next review.”
  21. 21. Confrontive Assertion  A Confrontive Assertion is a statement made when an agreement has been violated  “We agreed that you would take out the trash every Tuesday in order to earn your allowance. It is Wednesday and you didn’t take out the trash yesterday. Consequently, I won’t be giving you your allowance this week.”
  22. 22. Taking Responsibility  A Negative Assertion is assertively accepting a mistake that you have made. When George Washington said, “I’m sorry, Dad, I chopped down the cherry tree,” he was making a negative assertion.  When it’s difficult for someone to say, “I’m sorry,” they sometimes avoid the negative assertion in a way that hurts the other person:  “I’m sorry you feel that way  “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings  I’m sorry I did it, but if you hadn’t……then it never would have happened.
  23. 23. Good Communication is NOT Adversarial  Connection is the cornerstone of good communication  Connection requires empathy with the other person  Empathy requires imagining what it is like to be the other person and fashioning your statements with their feelings in mind
  24. 24. Assertive Negotiation  Identify the problem  Listen assertively  Brainstorm ideas  Pick a solution to try  Make a contract  Try out the solution with limits  Examine and look for problems in the contract
  25. 25. Follow-up in Effective Negotiation  Make a contract  Plan a follow-up  Discuss pluses and minuses  Make adjustments  Plan another follow-up
  26. 26. The Power of Saying “No”  Unassertive “No” is accompanied by weak excuses and rationalizations  Aggressive “No” is done with contempt  Assertive “No” is simple and direct
  27. 27. Strategies for saying “No”  It’s OK to ask for time to “think it over”  Shake your head “No” as you say, “No”  It’s honorable and authentic to say “No”  If you say, “Yes,” when you want to say, “No,” you’ll resent what you agreed to do  Use an empathic response  Start your sentence with the word “No”
  28. 28. Effective Communication  Notice nonverbal language in yourself and others  Choose your words with thought and care  Make assertive statements that are simple and direct  Negotiate with respect and make a follow-up plan  Use your assertiveness skills to set limits, say “No,” and to move in the direction of what you want
  29. 29. Linda D Tillman, PhD  1904 Monroe Dr. NE, Suite 200 Atlanta, Ga 30324-4860 404-873-5503 ext. 17  Explore our website: www.speakupforyourself.com and learn even more about assertiveness  Thank you for viewing this presentation.

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