Looking For Assertiveness Courses?
Most people think if they take a course on Assertiveness,
they will learn the techniques and instantly be more effective
in their communication. For a small minority, this is true.
For most people, it is more important first to learn the steps
of assertiveness, no matter what the format or venue.
I am a psychologist in private practice (over twenty years).
Every day I teach clients how to be assertive. It is simple
and only requires that we understand the basic five steps
to start. Then, a little instruction on technique and some
practice rounds out the learning curve.
What are the five steps? Here is a brief description.
Step One is asking yourself what are you thinking or feeling.
Step Two is about validating that your thoughts and/or feelings
are important. Step Three is thinking and planning how we might
express ourselves, assuming we get through Step Two. Most of
us do not actually think what we have to say is important enough
to say or do something about. Step Four is actually executing
the plan; that is, doing what we fantasized in Step Three.
Step Five is feedback. How did it go? If we achieved some
satisfaction, we are done with that thought. If not, it is
back to Step One.
Normally, I would explain each of these steps in greater
detail, even in a short article such as this one. However,
I have taken great care and written about Assertiveness in an
ebook (see below) that covers these ideas and a lot more.
You need to have a lot more information to make assertiveness
work, but the basic five steps is the start, and for many, is
enough to make a difference in their communication.
In another article, I wrote about the Top Ten Reasons To
Not Be Assertive. I was having some fun, describing all the
"whining" and other complaints I hear every day. They do
serve a purpose, and can be very entertaining in Assertiveness
Courses. They make good "Psychodrama." Again, do you really
need to review your excuses for not effectively communicating?
Probably not. My guess is that you already know you are not
very assertive and you probably already know some of the major
reasons why. Why else would you be reading this?
My point is that you probably do not need a formal course
on assertiveness. It is not that complicated a topic.
My ebook is very popular but I did not write it as a major work
unto itself, despite that people have downloaded it as often
as my other publications. Rather, it was sort of an
afterthought to other works I have written (Self Esteem,
Diagnosing and Treating Your Anxiety, How To Change Children's
Behavior...). It turns out becoming more assertive can be
achieved by reading a "How To" manual, which is less demanding
on our resources (time, money, etc.). It turns out, becoming
more assertive improves our "condition" in any of the above
areas, making dealing with anxiety, children, and self esteem
The real effect of becoming assertive is feeling better
about ourselves, clearing our own psyches of baggage and
getting more of what we want. You can take a formal course
on this, or read.