If you are in the process of coaching clients, you will inevitably use the terms "assertiveness" and "self-esteem." How do you know which one to use? The answer is not a simple one. Each has its own unique place in a person's life and handling style.
The key to effective Assertiveness Training is learning how to manage and control your emotions so that they do not become assertive. Being assertive is often used as a way to justify being dominant or controlling. If you master the art of controlling your emotions through self-control and assertiveness, however, assertiveness becomes a skill and not a crutch. This also helps you learn how to let go of controlling where you go and who you socialize with.
Assertiveness training can be helpful for a number of people. In groups, it helps members of the group feel secure about their place in the group. By helping participants accept themselves and accept their roles, assertiveness training provides a sense of belonging to a group. This can help participants feel more connected to the group and this can help them do better at work. It can also help participants feel more confident in getting and keeping their jobs.
Different kinds of Assertiveness Training exist. Some focus on communication style training and others focus on assertive behavior training. Which kind works best for your participants? The best approach depends on the needs of the person. For example, if you are coaching a manager who wants to improve her assertiveness skills so she can communicate more effectively with her employees, communication style training is probably a good idea.
On the other hand, if you're training assertiveness techniques to help participants feel more comfortable in accepting that they have feelings, rather than denying their emotions, then assertiveness training may not work. A good approach would be for the participants to openly discuss their feelings and how they are affecting their lives. This may sound counterintuitive, but it can be very helpful in changing how people perceive their own feelings. For example, if a participant perceives that he is not happy, then it is much easier to change his perception and see that he is, in fact, happy.
Communication style, or the style with which you speak, can influence how you respond to situations. The more dominant or aggressive the communication style, the more likely it is that you will react aggressively. However, if you are using assertiveness training techniques to change the way you respond to your environment, then it's probably a good idea to talk about your feelings and let others know how you feel. You can use coping statements, exercises, or statements that help you recognize your own negative and aggressive reactions so that you can recognize when you're being aggressive.
It's also important to realize that there are many different types of assertiveness training that will teach you how to respond differently when faced with an aggressive person or situation. Some training may focus on how to be assertive without being aggressive, and some will teach you how to be aggressive without being assertive. One type of training that teaches assertive techniques but does not focus on how to be aggressive is called situational awareness training. In this training, you'll learn how to recognize and change the negative ways that you respond to specific situations. If you take this type of training course, it will be helpful if you have problems initiating or responding to aggression.
Overall, you can use assertiveness training to improve how you communicate with others. You can also use the training for those times when you think you need to relax and put yourself in a calm state. Regardless of what type of assertiveness training you decide to take, make sure that it is for the right reasons and that it will help you in your day to day life. Assertiveness training doesn't always have to be negative. If you apply it in the proper way and learn how to practice it, you'll find that it can really help you with your own interactions with others.