The concept assertiveness deals with a few specific aspects of behaviour.
Most typical of them are the following: skill to declare one's own
position and firmly to protect it, skill to reject decisions which
are imposed on you, ability to tell about your feelings towards
somebody or something. The behaviour of the person concerning the
named aspects can be aggressive, passive-aggressive, passive or assertive.
An aggressive person tries to force others to carry out his demands, not taking into account their opinion. An individual who is passive-aggressive tries to force others to fulfil his desires, resorting to various manipulative methods. Typical of passive behaviour is that an individual tends to concede his rights, trying to avoid collisions at any cost. He is not always ready to assert even those issues that he considers as important. In assertive behaviour the person firmly protects his point of view, but at the same time he respects the opinion and rights of other people.
The test reveals features of your behaviour under the following four factors specific to the assertiveness concept: Communication, Conflict, Resistance to Influence, Coping with Criticism and an overall index - General Assertiveness.
Comprehension and awareness of the patterns of your behaviour concerning the aspects of assertiveness will allow you to master the skills of assertive behaviour, the skills to cooperate with people neither resorting to aggression against them, nor to manipulative methods. The experience confirms that the skills of assertive behaviour can be trained.
In the test results, besides quantitative indexes and the descriptions of features of your behaviour, you will find descriptions of methods of comprehension and development of the skills of assertive behaviour concerning the four above-named factors. The sample of the test result is presented below.
|General Assertiveness Index||40%||Moderately low|
|Communication assertiveness index||46%||Average|
|Conflict assertiveness index||33%||Moderately low|
|Resistance to influence assertiveness index||50%||Average|
|Coping with ctiticism assertiveness index||29%||Moderately low|
In general your behaviour is typical for a shy person , not always capable
of asserting his interests or explicitly to declare his intentions.
Often you cannot resist the rules imposed on you or other obligations.
In communication with a person of the opposite sex, you are capable of taking the initiative and telling your partner about your feelings towards him.
assert yourself in communication
In conflict you are ready to compromise on some points in order to achieve agreement but going this way you sometimes are forced to renounce a part of what you wanted to defend. You tend to give in to an aggressive opponent.
assert yourself in conflict
assert yourself in resisting influence
It is difficult for you to protect yourself against charges towards you.
assert yourself in coping with criticism
It will be good for you to have a repertoire of possible techniques for communication with various people. In communicating your manner of speaking should be adapted to the personality of your interlocutor and should also reflect the position that you hold at the moment.
Try to determine whether your partner is a potential collaborator, sharing your interests and aims or, on the contrary, whether he is your opponent with conflicting interests. Communication with people of a similar type to you will be easy. You will be able to discuss in detail the important points of a deal you are both interested in making. In communication with persons of an authoritative character, or with those who do not share your views and interests, have enough patience to listen to your partner without interrupting with objections or agreement. Then state very precisely your ideas on the subject. Note those points in your partner's views to which you agree; emphasize those points where there is a good match of interests. Offer your suggestions on possible compromises to eliminate conflicts and ask your partner to present his own compromise solution, which will help achieve mutually profitable goals. If you are dealing with a person of the rational logical type and a balanced temperament, use logical arguments with him, showing how your plan of action will lead to the desired results. Stress that in the course of time these results will even gain in value. If you are dealing with a sensitive person of the emotional type who likes to see results quickly, lay special stress on the fact that positive results may be obtained in very near future.
You must remember that there are times when you must display firmness and persistence. If you are in a management position you must not be afraid to take an authoritative stance towards a team of employees when necessary.
One of the basic approaches to increase confidence of behaviour in a conflict is to master methods of building up self-esteem. High enough level of self-esteem allows you to assert your point of view persuasively in a conflict, not resorting to passive-aggressive nor aggressive behaviour.
You can raise the level of self-esteem externally by receiving, the approval and respect of others, or internally by autosuggestion. As a rule, people respect those who are able to earn money or who demonstrate other socially approved advantages. To raise self-esteem internally, try to understand and develop in yourself features of which you can be proud, develop skills to do things that strengthen your self-esteem and to accept yourself as you are. Your self-esteem will also improve when you treat yourself to simple pleasures and joyful events which do not injure other people.
Confident behaviour in conflict assumes your ability to calmly and in quiet atmosphere tell your opponent about your feelings in relation to the matter under dispute. Tell him what exactly touches you and why. Offer various ways of solving the problem. Give your opponent an opportunity to offer his way of solving it as well and together find a mutually acceptable solution.
Remember that a tendency to avoid a conflict at any cost or to concede to your opponent frequently encourages behaviour inimical or even aggressive towards you. Such a development of the conflict is unfavorable and, as a rule, leads to an inevitable confrontation.
If you are in doubt about the merit of an offer, do not hurry to make the decision, and postpone it in order to weigh considerately all pros and cons. Reject any attempts to force you to solve the problem immediately.
Even people able to refuse resolutely offers not acceptable to them are not always capable of resisting the offer which intentionally manipulates their feeling of guilt towards somebody. Try to recognize such casuistic method of manipulation and reject such attempts. Be cautious with people rendering to you some service or morally doubtful preference in order to gain from you a decision necessary to them. Make yourself clear when such actions are made with intention to put pressure on you, and firmly refuse them.
If you do not have the opportunity or desire to enter into polemic concerning criticism, try simply to let your opponent know briefly, your position without entering into an explanation, that you have heard the opponent's opinion and do not object to his remarks. As a rule, it immediately stops criticism, does not give opportunity to continue it and if it hurts you, then only minimally.
Another method to reduce emotionally injurious influence of criticism consists of choosing from critical remarks those that seem to you of greatest importance or those that disturb you least of all. Having started the discussion on these points, try to focus on those aspects which can promote improvement of your business. Your comprehension of criticism as a tool that can help you in some way frequently helps you to overcome negative emotions caused by critical remarks.
Remember that frequently progress is reached as a result of improvements made under the influence of criticism.
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