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Nguyên bản tiếng Anh bài giảng về "Assertiveness" của Giáo sư Jeffrey Berman – Salem Stage College – Hoa Kỳ.

One of the most important, yet difficult to master aspects of personal communications is assertiveness. Assertiveness is something we often call "standing for yourself".

"Standing for yourself" is as an important factor as a business relationship and a personal relationship. While assertiveness implies Assertiveness is something we often call "standing for yourself" is such a way that you do not violate another person's rights. Another way of thinking about assertiveness is "getting what you want, getting what you need", using fair and reasonable means.

Being assertive does not mean being aggressive. Some people compare assertiveness to aggressiveness in terms of being kind a continuum of behaviors, but they're really two different and separate concepts.

Assertiveness: standing for your own rights.

Aggressiveness: violating or using whatever tactics that are unnecessary that may hurt or harm another person in order to get your way.

The opposite of assertiveness is not assertiveness. The opposite of assertiveness is NON-assertiveness. In another word, that if you don’t stand up for your rights, you don't try to get what you need by using fair and reasonable means: you're not being assertive.

What I don't understand assertiveness is to think about various situations in which assertive behavior may be called for. One that we're familiar with is when somebody stars smoking in a non-smoking area, a lot of times we may be reluctant to call a person for smoking and non-smoking area. However by asking them to go to a more appropriate area to smoke, we're being assertive.

Another example of assertiveness is when you want to return an unsatisfactory purchase that we shopped, some store will have a policy of accepting returns without any questions, but many times, when you're trying to return a unsatisfactory purchase, you'll need to make sure that the store takes back the unsatisfactory item and will refund. That's called assertiveness.

Another example of assertiveness is asking for a pay raise. Sometimes, it's politically incorrect to ask for a pay raise. But in other organizational context, the only way to get a raise is to ask for it, so therefore you prepare for your case, you go to your superior or your boss, and you make your case and ask for your raise. That's being assertive.

Another case of assertiveness might be in terms of reprimanding a subordinate. Many managers fear reprimanding a subordinate because they fear that person will be throwing for another job right away, or they fear that they're gonna become demotivated by the reprimand. On the other hand if the subordinates is doing something wrong or the subordinates is doing something that violate some company policies, the appropriate thing to do is to give that person… if you wanna call it disciplinary or a reprimand in such a way that they will know they won't repeat that behavior.

Another example of being assertive is to reopen a conversational dialogue with someone you've had an argument with. If you've had an argument with someone, a disagreement, perhaps it’s emotional. You don't necessarily feel comfortable so… that again. On the other hand, the sure thing to do, is to reopen a relationship and reopen a dialogue with that person so that you can work with them, going forward.

Assertiveness is a large subject. And it's surely impossible to cover every possible situation that may come up. So I’d like to present to you some "dos" and "don'ts" about being assertive.

If someone ignores you like trying to be assertive, don’t be discouraged. Simply continue to present your case until the other person stars to listen to you. While being assertive, you can refuse to be distracted by the other person. Another person that trying to sidetrack your assertiveness by bringing up unrelated issues or by changing the subject – don’t let that sidetrack you, don’t let that stop you being assertive until you get it right.

While being assertive can also being empathetic. After all, another person is going to have a different point of view, another person may have their own opinion and therefore, you're asserting your rights. On the other hand, try to understand the other person at the same time.

When expressing your point of view and being assertive, try to avoid the domineering or dogmatic. And, the best way to do that is to assert yourself in an even tone of voice. If your tone of voice reveals some kind of attempt to dominate, you're going to lose the stream of effectiveness in trying to be assertive.

One typical situation that occurs in assertiveness is if a prior agreement you had with someone is being violated in other words behaviour or situation that has fallen back into the original state where you were originally needed to be assertive. What do you do then? You then reassert yourself and point out the discreteness between what's going on now and what you previously agreed on, trying to bring the situation back to one that meets your needs.

An important background factor in assertiveness is what I might call “self control". Self control has to do with our self image, with our self esteem and with our self confidence. If we are positive in our self image, we well tend to be assertive. The more positive your self image and self – esteem is, the more likely it is that we will be assertive. This is an important thing to keep in mind.

Another aspect of self control with regard to assertiveness is "How do we deal with stress?" Very often, the need to be assertive is most important when things are stressful. For example, in a stressful work situation, so under those circumstances, don't back off, you have your needs, you have your rights, be assertive despite the high level of stress that you're encountering.

Finally, there is issue of what happens if I'm assertive and the other person gets angry or aggressive, in other words, I recognize my rights and needs and I'm being assertive. The other person has blown up at night. The appropriate approach there is to use the concept of silence into personal communication. Don't respond to the other person's anger or aggressiveness, eventually things may calm down and you can say in the injurer that your considering what the other person has to say, but in the end, continue to be assertive.

 

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