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Developing Assertive and Confident Communication Skills

Two Day Course


Assertive communication is the most effective way to shape a message in most circumstances. It helps us to make our points clearly whilst encouraging cooperative, collaborative relationships. It is therefore the optimum style for good management and to set a standard for the team. Most of us communicate assertively and confidently according to circumstance. Challenging situations can include speaking up in meetings, dealing with conflict, or saying ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’. This course introduces the tools required to build awareness of different behaviour styles and techniques for more effective, positive communication.

Two-day course outline:

  • Welcome and introductions.
  • Course objectives, personal objectives.
  • Defining assertiveness.
  • Benefits of assertiveness.

How behaviour happens:
  • Your inner dialogue – what messages do you send yourself?
  • Effects of the inner dialogue.
  • How old patterns can revive to shape our responses.
  • Assertive rights and responsibilities.
  • Where are your assertive blockages and why?

Interpersonal Communication:
  • The Communication ‘mix’.
  • Recognising different types of behaviour – aggressive, passive, assertive.
  • Demonstrating assertiveness:
    • Visual – body language and facial expression.
    • Vocal – tone, speed, pacing, volume, pitch, clarity and inflection.
    • Verbal – the words we use.
  • Positive terminology – examples and effects
  • Negative terminology – examples and effects
  • Using active tense phraseology

Assertive Communication:
  • Assertive techniques – Basic, Persistence, Negotiation / Empathetic.
  • Constructive ways to say ‘no’.
  • Practising the techniques to improve communication in challenging situations.
  • Questions, summary and review.
  • Action Plan.

As a tribal species, we tend to like people who are like us. However, we need to create supportive working relationships with a diverse range of people and communication styles. ‘Style Flexing’ helps us to develop empathy and expands the possibilities for connection with people who need different ways of communicating. It also helps us to keep peoples’ concentration in a time of shortening attention spans. Listening is the highest form of communication. The skills of listening both accurately and actively are essential assets in generating two – way, confident communication channels. Gaining proficiency in these methods also helps us to exercise our influence with both individuals and groups.

Recap of Day 1 
Points for review from the group

  • Introduction to Style Flexing and Listening Skills.
  • How Style Flexing helps to create a rapport.
  • Social Styles.
  • Assessment of own primary and secondary styles.
  • Where can the styles harmonise and where do they clash?
  • Behavioural Inclinations.
  • Representational Channels.
  • Shaping assertive communication to suit different styles.
  • The challenges of accurate listening – quiz.
  • Signs of a good listener.
  • Signs of a bad listener.
  • Active, empathetic listening.
  • Coping strategies for stressful situations.
  • Summary, review and questions.
  • Personal Action Plan.

Benefits of the training:
  • Improved interpersonal communication skills.
  • Awareness of how personal belief systems shape experience.
  • A more positive attitude towards self and others.
  • Enhanced ability to get your message across.
  • More effective communication in a variety of situations.
  • Increased understanding of how to build and sustain confidence.

© Candida Bowman 2019

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