We were recently at a meeting where this question was asked – is our training program ‘How to deal with Challenging People and Situations ‘the same as Assertiveness Training?. This is a good question, and the answer is yes and at the same time not quite. So what do we mean by that?
The answer is yes in so far as you will understand what happens in common everyday interactions that engenders a type of reaction within a person which can lead to an inability to voice what they need to or creates a visceral response which does not allow the individual to be in their optimum state. This in itself in a huge leap forward – to actually see in truth what is going on. We have discussed this before in previous blogs that any step towards change in how we are with others must stem firstly from a level of self-exploration or self-awareness. Which is why we invite our learners to start here with this on our program.
The answer is also no is so far as we do not tell you how to be or propose that you put on a particular persona – i.e. fake it until you make it.. Self-acceptance is vital if we wish to be self-fulfilled in life and work and that means as we come to understand ourselves more we become more accepting of the fact that we may not be the most vocal and/or do not like or seek confrontation with others. This is absolutely as it should be. This does make us ineffective or less capable of making an impact as a leader, if that is our role. We have witnessed this time and time again in the large varieties of groups we have worked with.
What we do provide is useful communication tools which can be honed and developed to allow someone to move into a more effective way of being while being full themselves, plus the invitation to always step back and continue with the practise of witnessing, observing and growing self-awareness. We have many other additional tools to support this.
Over time facilitating this section of our leadership programs or indeed the program itself we have had the privilege of witnessing our learners realising that being most effective is all about being completely yourself and most important valuing yourself. So – a better word to choose is Effectiveness not Assertiveness.
Submitted by Maura Murphy
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