Thinka’s ‘Boost Assertiveness’ Workshop
What leaders will explore
- Four communication styles and ‘win-win’
- Understanding the role of body language
- The role of radical candour
- Understanding emotional agility
- Assertiveness and the authentic you
What leaders will apply
Ability to negotiate ‘win – win’ outcomes
- Strategies for increasing assertiveness levels
- Preserving the relationship while still getting
the message across
- Regulating techniques for emotions
A more authentic communication style
Assertive communication is essential for leaders to manage teams in a complex world of work. Skills in assertiveness help leaders in decision-making, conflict resolution and developing self-confidence. When leaders are assertive, they are better able to deliver clear messages and manage difficult situations. The purpose of this workshop is to help leaders step into assertive behaviour and adapt their communication style so they can have more influence.
Working with organisations across Australia, we know that communication is the #1 skill sought after by leaders and teams. Here are some reasons why assertive communication is essential to modern workplaces:
- Rise of ‘human skills’: More and more, organisations are helping employees develop both technical skills and soft skills. Leaders are engaging in more candid conversations about behaviour and accountability. Assertiveness skills will help leaders coach and give feedback to team members and manage conversations around behaviour.
- Technology and rise of AI: Advancements in technology and the way we work will automate more manual work, changing job roles and what organisations consider valuable. Employees with highly developed communication skills, who can lead through change, will become increasingly desirable.
- Complex world of work: Living in a ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment means that leaders will need to give confidence and assurance to their teams constantly. Assertiveness techniques help leaders present a clearer picture for their teams so they understand priorities and expectations.
- Role clarity: Because the lines are more blurred in modern workplaces, employees will continually need role clarity and tasks defined. Assertiveness training gives leaders an edge in dealing with conversations related to role clarity and finding agreement on tasks, so outcomes can be achieved.
- Mental health: 1 in 5 Australians are currently experiencing a mental health issue. Skills in assertiveness can help leaders express their needs clearly while respecting the rights of other parties. A communication style that is more self-assured can help leaders manage mental health and issues like overwhelm and possible burnout.
Overall, assertiveness can help leaders navigate these challenges and develop greater self-respect. With Assertiveness Training, coaching sessions, and support from peers, leaders can uplift their communication style and put across their point of view more confidently.
If you want to learn more on communication and assertiveness skills, see our article on ‘What is communication?’ that talks you through the four communication styles.
With the help of Assertiveness Training, skills that leaders and teams can put in place to enhance performance include:
- Communication: Leaders who are assertive communicators are better able to manage aggressive, passive aggressive and passive communication styles in their direct reports. Leaders understand why people might default to these communication styles and how to manage them out of these behaviours.
- Self-confidence: New situations, projects and ever-changing work environments call for assertiveness and certainty from leaders. They are better equipped to support team members when they have strong interpersonal skills, articulate problems clearly, and identify solutions. Leaders who are assertive can make a big difference to the self-confidence of their direct reports as well.
- Relationship management: This involves the ability to recognise and regulate one’s own emotions and maintain healthy relationships with others. Leaders can improve this by engaging in positive body language and making eye contact, while they communicate their needs and expectations clearly.
- Perspective taking: Conflict can arise when there are different perspectives in the workplace, but leaders who are skilled in assertiveness can navigate this. Leaders who stay calm and objective in situations and look for the ‘win-win’ have a greater impact on workplace culture and get results.
- Decision making: When leaders communicate decisions in a positive way while considering the rights of others, they get better buy-in. Leaders can build this this capability by weighing up both positive and negative impacts of a decision and by being ‘clear but kind’. Lack of assertiveness can lead to ambiguity and team members need certainty and direction.
By developing capability in assertiveness, leaders can grow their interpersonal skills and manage people, projects and performance with greater ease.
What is Assertiveness Training?
Our Assertiveness Training workshop is specifically designed for leaders to boost self-esteem and develop skills in effective communication. It aims to provide participants with the strategies, tools and resources to apply their learning and lead with greater confidence. Our experienced facilitators have worked with many Australian leaders on assertive communication skills and will share case studies and stories to help your leaders.
Why should my organisation offer Assertiveness Training?
Being part of Assertiveness Training can help leaders become more confident, leading to greater job satisfaction. It can also help participants to break through barriers that might otherwise hold them back from accessing new opportunities. The workshop experience is designed to help leaders learn from each other and see how they might support each other to grow assertive behaviours.
Who can attend Assertiveness Training?
Assertiveness skills training is designed for leaders. The skills we focus on encourages clear and straightforward communication that helps them convey expectations, tasks and goals to their teams. However, this training can be easily customised for team members and middle to upper management as well.
Is Assertiveness Training only available in person?
We deliver a lot of in-person workshops across Melbourne and Sydney but Assertiveness Training can be delivered in an in-person, virtual or hybrid format; depending on the organisation’s set-up. It is typically made up of strategies, discussions and a series of activities to support on the job application.
The training can be complemented with coaching sessions with a Thinka coach. Coaching plays an important role in challenging old behaviours and building fresh confidence and capability in each of the participants. Organisations might also opt for a blended program that makes use of an online course and other forms of media as well.
Workshop Case Study
‘Radically Candid Teams’ with Specsavers
1. What was the objective?
Leaders at Specsavers wanted to develop greater assertiveness to achieve win-win outcomes with their direct reports. We partnered with the organisation to deliver two workshops for 30 Senior Managers, Managers and Executives. Each workshop ran for three and a half hours, focusing on the skill of delivering compassionate but direct feedback using Kim Scott’s ‘Radical Candor’ framework. The workshop targeted individuals’ understanding of the role of self-awareness, mindset and bias when providing feedback as a leader.
2. How did we do it?
The workshop was a balance of theory and practical application. We started the workshop by exploring how the leaders’ mindsets and potential biases could impact the effectiveness of their communication skills and the outcome of a feedback conversation.
Through bespoke scenarios applicable to the organisation’s context, the participants learned about potential language traps and how assertive communication versus other types of speech impacted the power of their message.
The participants workshopped how to prepare and execute a ‘Radical Candor’ conversation with their peers. This role-play exercise helps to build ‘muscle memory’ in participants and enables them to get real-time feedback on their delivery.
3. How was it integrated and what were the results?
Leaders received a post-workshop video and an application tool to embed their learnings of ‘Radical Candor’ and support conversations with their direct reports. Based on the success of this assertiveness training, Specsavers has continued to engage us with further work in the coaching and leadership development space.