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Chapter 13. Assertiveness > Chapter Summary

Chapter Summary

Situations that call for an assertive response, at work or at home, can be quite stressful. It will be useful for you to assimilate a framework that you can use to help you develop assertive behavior. Assertiveness represents the effective middle ground between passivity and aggression. It involves expressing yourself in a diplomatic, straightforward fashion while respecting both your own needs and the needs of others. An effective guideline for constructing an assertive response involves using four basic steps: (1) identify the problem behavior; (2) specify the effects (including feelings); (3) specify consequences (optional); and (4) offer alternatives. It is also important for you to adopt and practice assertive nonverbal behaviors so there is congruence between your words and actions. You can become more persuasive, particularly in a work context, by paying careful attention to timing and tact in expressing your opinions. Behaving assertively will maximize your personal effectiveness and increase your self-respect and confidence, all of which help diminish stress.


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