Assertiveness Training


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  • 11
    Lessons
  • 22
    Exams &
    Assignments
  • 11
    Hours
    average time
  • 1.1
    CEUs
  • 4,292
    Students
    have taken this course
 
 
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Course Description

The ability to be assertive is difficult. Most people do not want to be perceived as selfish, demanding, hostile, stubborn or just plain hard to get along with. They allow others to take advantage of them or they do more than is necessary or required of them, all the while not getting what they need in return.

This behavior creates resentment in the non-assertive person and confuses their co-workers, friends and family.  For those who have difficulty in this area (and there are many), people who are assertive and confident seem to have been born that way.  For all appearances, this quality comes easily to them. They naturally know exactly when and how to ask for what they want without seeming aggressive or hostile.  While some people do have an innate ability to assert themselves, most do not, so if they were not "born" with this ability, how did they get it?
 
 
They had to learn new behaviors and methods of expressing their desires to others while remaining calm and appropriately communicative.  The good news is, you can obtain these behaviors too.  Anyone can learn to be more confident in expressing their needs without being demanding or creating relationship problems. This is the course that will teach you how to do just that.
 
Many people confuse assertiveness with aggression, anger, antagonism, hostility, or even bullying. Being assertive is none of these things. The perfect starting place when learning how to do something new is to be very clear about what that behavior or action is; what it is not; and what it means, looks like, and feels like.
 
A good analogy would be learning how to drive a stick shift or manual transmission vehicle. If you have a clear understanding of the various gears, where the clutch is, and what speed you need to be at to shift up or down, you can then proceed to understanding how the car feels to you when it is at the correct speed for you to shift up or down.

There will be times, as you practice being more assertive, that you will be unsure whether you have struck the right balance in expressing your needs and wants to others or if you have been too passive or too aggressive. This course will help you achieve that perfect balance.
 
 
Whether you are having trouble being confident and assertive in your career or personal life, or if you are simply interested in learning more about this topic, this course will introduce you to a better way of getting what you want and need from the people in your life.

 

 

Assertiveness Defined
 
 
 
 

Introduction 

In this lesson, we will explore exactly what it means to be assertive. Many people confuse assertiveness with aggression, anger, antagonism, hostility, or even bullying. Being assertive is none of these things. The perfect starting place when learning how to do something new is to be very clear about what that behavior or action is; what it is not; and what it means, looks like, and feels like.
 
A good analogy would be learning how to drive a stick shift or manual transmission vehicle. If you have a clear understanding of the various gears, where the clutch is, and what speed you need to be at to shift up or down, you can then proceed to understanding how the car feels to you when it is at the correct speed for you to shift up or down. This lesson will provide an excellent foundation of understanding for future reference as you begin to use the assertiveness skills you will learn later on in this course. 

There will be times, as you practice being more assertive, that you will be unsure whether you have struck the right balance in expressing your needs and wants to others or if you have been too passive or too aggressive. In that regard, this is the most important lesson of the unit because it will be your point of reference in achieving balance.
 
 
At the end of each lesson, before the review questions, you will be presented with a "You Decide" exercise. Read the hypothetical situation and decide if the person is being assertive or something else, or if there is some action to take that would express assertiveness and what that might be. The correct answer(s) will be given after the review questions section.
 

Why Is Being Assertive So Difficult for So Many People? 

There are many answers to this question, but the most common are: 

  1. Insecurity: You lack an accurate, healthy appreciation for your own talents, abilities, and self-worth.
  2. Fear: You worry that you will not get what you want, that you will lose something you need or already have, or that you will be rejected.
  3. Shyness: You are unable to speak up or communicate because your personality is one of quiet reflector, or you are more of a laid back person.
  4. A desire to fit in with peers: Social pecking orders and group pressure do a lot to keep people "in their place." Everyone knows someone who has been ostracized from a group for disagreeing with the status quo or expressing a desire to have personal needs met if those needs conflict with the needs of those higher up in the hierarchy. The more dysfunctional the group, the more oppressed the individual becomes.
  5. Lack of self-direction: You do not know what to ask for because you do not really know what you want.
  6. Lack of knowledge:  Knowledge is power. If you are ignorant of what you are capable of having and do not take the time to do your research or prepare well, you have nothing to back up your desires with.
  7. Inability to negotiate well: You do not know how to communicate the reasons why others should meet your needs and how they would benefit from doing so. 

The later lessons of this course will address all of these roadblocks to assertiveness and self-confidence and help you overcome them with a little hard work and practice. 

As a side note, if you are experiencing more than simple assertiveness problems, then do not hesitate to get extra help with those issues. For instance, maybe you allow abuse of yourself or a loved one, or you think you have more serious issues that stem from being raised in a highly dysfunctional family or from being in a bad relationship. Seeking out a good counselor really can assist you in finding balance. It also will accelerate your ability to learn new behaviors by providing good feedback and a neutral sounding board for conflict problems. This course still will help you learn assertiveness, but addressing any underlying issues will help you achieve what is beyond the scope of this course so that you can realize your full potential.
 

How Does Assertiveness Differ from Passiveness and Aggression? 

From the time we are very young, we begin to assert ourselves. Listen to any toddler closely and you will hear the word "no" uttered often. You will also hear the same word, equally as often, coming from the parents of that toddler.  

Here is an example of that type of dueling assertiveness: Little Jimmy is presented with a large helping of strained peas for lunch; he shouts "No!" and lifts the bowl to dump the peas on his head. His mother's eyes open wide in dismay, and she responds with a "No!" of her own. If Jimmy were a little older, he would understand how to better communicate his hatred of peas and negotiate some tasty strained peaches from his mother instead by explaining that peaches are just as healthy as peas and taste better, too.  

Even at this early stage of life, Jimmy is learning a lesson about asserting himself. His mother, depending upon her reaction, is teaching him a particular lesson about what happens when he asserts himself, depending on her response. Let us not analyze the situation too much, or the parent-child relationship. Let us just use it for a point of learning reference. Like any new venture, starting the process of being assertive begins with baby steps. So, let us use the Little Jimmy example to compare assertiveness, passiveness, and aggression. 

We will assume that Jimmy's mother is out of everything but strained peas. She has no choice but to feed him his least favorite meal, so she proceeds to spoon-feed him the peas, cajoling, cooing, and attempting all forms of persuasion to get him to eat them: 

  1. If Jimmy eats his peas without a fuss, maybe even gags a little with each bite because he hates them so much but finishes them without protest, he is being passive.
  2. If Jimmy grabs the bowl from his mother's hand and throws it at her, making a mess all over her, the floor, and the walls, thereby upsetting her, he is being aggressive.
  3. If Jimmy takes a few bites, remembers why he hates the peas so much, and clamps his mouth shut, refusing to take one more bite, he is being assertive. 

It really is that simple.  

Passive people eat the hated peas and do what others want them to do to earn their approval without question, whether they like it or not. 

Aggressive people overreact, making a mess and angering people to the point that no one wants to give them anything, or people give them what they want out of fear instead of cooperation.  

Assertive people know what they want and do not want, make those desires clear, and refuse to budge unless a reasonable explanation or alternative is offered from the other person. 

Later on we will cover avoiding another behavior, passive aggression, in more detail; but it is important to understand what that behavior is as well. It is used by many people who do not know how to get what they want from others in a direct manner. It is not healthy and does not help develop happy, trusting relationships with others. 

Passive aggression is when people use covert, sneaky, and indirect methods of being aggressive. They do this because they cannot express anger or be direct about their real emotions, wants, or needs. Often, passive aggressive behavior becomes a response to dealing with another passive aggressive person or from continually not getting what one wants and needs from another regularly. Fear is at the root of passive aggressive behavior: fear of being rejected or having to deal with another's anger, or fear of the consequences that will result if they assertively ask for what they need. The fear of asking for what they want, expressing their true emotions, or admitting they need the other person is very profound. Passive aggression is used often to retaliate against others for real or perceived slights by using or displaying some of following behaviors:[ii] 

  • Forgetfulness: I forgot your birthday, or I forgot to finish my assignment, call the client, take out the garbage, call you, etc.
  • Blaming: It is not my fault I am late; it is the traffic every night. It is not my fault I get fired every few months; all my bosses are unreasonable. I have no faults; nothing is my fault.
  • Lack of anger: While never or rarely showing anger externally or directly, passive aggressive people retaliate in an underhanded way.
  • Obstructionism: This behavior involves never really giving others what they want or need; in fact, going out of the way to deny others what they want, while pretending all the while to have intentions of fulfilling those wants and needs. 

What Does Assertive Behavior Look and Feel Like?

Since Little Jimmy was such a good example of simple assertiveness, let us use him again to get a handle on what assertiveness looks and feels like. Taking the stance of firm refusal to accept what he does not want, peas, it appears externally that Jimmy is being confident and self-assured. To people who may be controlling or inflexible themselves, it may appear that he is being stubborn, willful, or bratty. Wrong! He was clearly asserting himself and not being defiant. Throwing the peas? That is another story.  

If there is one important point you take away from this lesson, let it be this: There is nothing bad or wrong about being clear and firm regarding what you want and do not want. Often people will make us feel that it is wrong, but that is on them. So, what do you think it felt like to Jimmy to stand his ground? Empowering? Comfortable? Natural? Quite possibly all of those things. Children are such good asserters because they have not yet been conditioned to accept what they do not want. They also are very clear about their wants and needs because their needs are, essentially, simple and uncomplicated. 
 
 
Conclusion  
 
Going forward, be like a child in your assertiveness. Know what you want and do not want and what you like and do not like; be firm about not accepting what you do not want and just as firm about asking for what you do want. Do not "throw peas" or passively eat them if you hate them. Do not let others convince you that your calm assertiveness is bad or wrong.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider
 
 

Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: Assertiveness Defined

This lesson will provide an excellent foundation of understanding for future reference as you begin to use the assertiveness skills you will learn later on in this course. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: What Does It Mean to be Assertive; What Is Assertiveness?
  • Review Video: Assertiveness scenarios: 10 examples
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Methods of Assessing and Developing Healthy Self-esteem

Healthy self-esteem is the very first step in achieving confidence and learning to be assertive. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review Article: Ten Ways you can kickstart and begin improving Self Esteem!
  • Review Video: To Be Assertive, Change Your Thinking
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Your Personal Level of Assertiveness

This lesson will introduce you to the most common personality types. 14 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Personality Test; The Assertiveness Quiz
  • Review Video: Assertiveness - Tips for being assertive and saying 'No'
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Improving Communication

Regardless of your personality type or weaknesses, everyone can learn how to communicate better. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Deciding When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up; Persuasion and How to Influence Others
  • Review 3 Videos: 4 Things to Practice daily to Improve Communication Skills; 5 Ways to Improve your COMMUNICATION Skills; Communication Skills - The 6 Keys Of Powerful Communication
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Conflict Resolution

When possible, negotiate and compromise to avoid conflict; but when you cannot, use the tools in this lesson to resolve it instead. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Association for Conflict Resolution; The Types of Conflict in Communication
  • Review 4 Videos: Conflict Resolution in 6 Simple Easy Steps; Verbal Judo: Diffusing Conflict Through Conversation; TED Conflict Negotiation; Managing Conflict In Your Workplace
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Appropriate Workplace Assertiveness

This lesson will help you deal with handling work- related situations properly. 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Assertiveness in the Workforce; Assertiveness Techniques that Work
  • Review 2 Videos: How to Be More Assertive at Your Job : Workplace Etiquette and Tips; Assertiveness Techniques: These are the only 3 you will ever need!
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Appropriate Personal Assertiveness

Being assertive in our personal lives has differences from and similarities to the way we assert ourselves at work or in business. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Assertive Versus Unassertive and Aggressive Behavior; Four Ways of Understanding Passive Aggressive Behaviors, while Keeping your Sanity!
  • Review Video: How to Be Assertive: 4 Assertive Communication Secrets
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Combating Fear of Assertiveness

This lesson will help you deal with the inevitable fear that will strike when you first begin to assert yourself. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review Article: Barriers to Assertiveness
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: What Do You Really Want?

Perhaps the most essential part of asking for what you want is knowing what you want to ask for. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review Article: How to Make an Action Plan to Achieve Any Goal
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Achieving Balance

This lesson will explain how to achieve balance in being assertive. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Achieving Life Balance is Essential to Your Health; How to Create Balance in all Areas of Your Life
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

Course Conclusion

As you go forward, be confident. 73 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Take Poll: What do you think about this course?
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Final Exam
209
Total Course Points
 

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define assertiveness and understand how it differs from aggression.
  • Know defined methods of assessing and developing healthy self-esteem.
  • Identify your own personal level of assertiveness and determine what improvements may be needed.
  • Describe basic techniques for improving your communication skills.
  • Describe methods to use in peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Know and establish appropriate assertiveness techniques to use in the workplace.
  • Determine your own personal level of assertiveness that is appropriate for you.
  • Recognize the fears you have associated with assertiveness and define techniques to combat them.
  • Determine and describe what it is you really want and identify how assertiveness can achieve this goal.
  • Identify ways to balance the level of assertiveness to use in everyday life.
  • Review your own personal level of assertiveness and identify how you will use it in the future, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
 

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
 
Course Title: Assertiveness Training
Course Number: 8900266
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.1 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dr. Dennis Mithaug
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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