- Assertiveness is a philosophy of action - says Gerard Sigmundzik from the Training Projects Foundation, which has been offering interpersonal training for over a dozen years - This attitude results from being in harmony with yourself. As a certain philosophy of life, it allows you to freely express your own thoughts and feelings, views and opinions, regardless of the opinions of others.
An assertive attitude in theory is distinguished by the personal potential to display and express one's opinion in a polite but firm manner, respecting the right of others to express their views whose views may contradict ours.
Interpersonally correct behavior, then, is one in which we accept ourselves - always being aware of our expectations in relationships with other people, as well as the needs of others. We mean social expectations, e.g. well-being or readiness of both parties to a dignified compromise. Assertiveness - is related to your constant and positive self-esteem.
The most important methods of assertive attitudes presented by lecturers during trainings are:
You have the right to do what you want - as long as your actions do not hurt someone else.
There are situations between people where the rights are not obvious. However, you always have the right to discuss and explain the problem with another person.
Avoid the so-called generalizations, definitive terms, e.g.: You can never listen to me, you are completely irresponsible, I always have to correct something after you, you can never count on you, you are always late ... etc.
Use objective criteria in which both parties can find a platform for agreement and joint assessment (bring specific facts instead of interpretation and evaluation).
In assertive conflict resolution, 4 methods are often used that can be used as effectively in parallel and independently of each other:
Pamela Buttler's procedure: is a multi-stage escalation of influence when, by attaching the next and the next procedure (when the previous one does not work) to enforce your own rights:
Tell about a conflict situation,
Announce the consequences in advance,
Express feelings, e.g. impatience,
Refer to the "back office", e.g. refer to the rule written in the company codes, the law, etc.
Carry out the announced sanction
Broken record: Repeat your opinions at least three times, with consistently identical words - in response to pressure from another person, it is critically important to repeat your personal position firmly but non-aggressively. When refusing: say no, name what you refuse, give a precise justification, use a "torn record".
Probing: during the criticism you face, demand a factual conversation about the problem: what was inappropriate in the opinion of the other party? ... what was to be done ...? Why do you think it is not worth ...? E.t.c.
Cover: A form of emotional shielding from the verbal non-constructive attack of another person. We note that the statements of the attacker are subjective views of the situation, not pure facts: indeed - you might have thought that it was not worth anything ... yes, and your prospects could have been like that ... you might have thought ... etc. The key here is to be aware that it is only that person's opinion Assertive boundary setting: firm request, e.g. I don't want you to call me that!
- You have to remember, however, that high self-esteem cannot simply be learned during a weekend or even a weekly course - says Jolanta Uran, who has been organizing assertiveness classes for ten years. - Developing a personal attitude is a long project. In fact, this expensive training could be converted by many of us into an inexpensive e-learning workshop for maybe up to a hundred zlotys. Determination and regularity in experimenting with the use of new assertive behaviors will be much more important.