First Step to Becoming Assertive

Module 1 of our Assertive Communication cover on the skills of Active Listening and Speaking Up. These are the first essential skills to learn in your journey to become a more competent assertive communicator.

Active Listening

To be Assertive, you need to be able to “listen” to what others are saying. Most importantly listening with the intent to understand.

Hearing Vs Listening

Listening is more than just “hearing” what the person is saying.

  • You need to understand what they are saying.

  • This means you have to have some experience of what they are saying.

  • Also in face-to-face conversation, you need to look at the person.

  • Body Language or non-verbal communication is also important in understanding.

  • When you do not understand, you need to “confirm your understanding” by explaining your perception of what has been said.

Shared Understanding

  • Most arguments start because there is a failure to create a “Shared Understanding” on the present situation. This starts with “Active Listening”.

  • Understanding the facts and sticking to the facts is the best way to get to a “Shared Understanding.

  • Shared Understanding through Active Listening:

  • Listening to what others are saying aimed at understanding.

  • When they have finished, confirming your understanding of what they have said.

  • Not interrupting when others are speaking. (Timing).

Skills which need to be developed in Active Listening

  • Pay attention to the speaker by setting a comfortable tone.

  • Withhold judgement and have an open mind.

  • Reflect by mirroring or paraphrasing key points.

  • Clarify and ask for more information if necessary.

  • Summarise by restating key themes.

  • Share and confirm understanding.

Simple Sentences for you to express an assertive stance in a conversation:

“Please can I confirm my understanding of what you have just said.”

“Am I right in saying that your point of view is . . . .”

“Are you clear about my point of view, would you like to confirm your understanding?”


Speaking Up

To be Assertive, you need to be able to “speak up” at an appropriate moment:

  • This requires for you to practice active listening.

  • Speaking up can be as simple as asking a question.

  • Having a different point of view is OK.

Why is it important to “speak up”?

  • It can confirm understanding.

  • It can bring another point of view to the discussion.

  • It can reveal an area of an opportunity in a plan not thought of.

Speaking up requires a person to have certain amount of courage. It helps to gain clearer understanding of what is being discussed. At the same time, one must be aware of managing one’s emotions at all times.

Assertive Communication is essential to teamwork:

  • It allows everyone to have a say in the discussions.

  • It helps bring a variety of ideas to the table.

  • Once there is the beginnings of an assertive culture:

- There is more participation.

- Leading to improved performance & behaviour.

Simple Sentences for you to express an assertive stance in a conversation:

“I’d like to get clarity on the following . . . .”

“I like your idea and I would like to add to it if I may.”

“Looking at the situation from a different point of view, I would like to . . . “


Practice makes Good.

In the early stages of development, a person needs to go a bit outside their comfort zone and to focus in order to be able to be assertive.

This is followed by the transfer of learning over the next seven days. Thus, developing their listening skills and becoming a better assertive communicator.

Why do people become non assertive and do not “speak up”?

  • They feel or think if they do speak up, it will make other people angry.

  • They feel or think if they do speak up, they will get into trouble.

  • They feel or think if they do speak up, others will think they are stupid.

None of the above assumptions are valid. Speak up, it’s important.


Using the The S O I Technique

Here is a technique that can help you be more effective in speaking up:

  • Explain the Situation.

  • Your Observation.

  • Implication to be expected.

When you find your voice, it will give you the opportunity to speak up not only for your own rights, but the rights of others. Tell others that it matters.

Moving to become an “Explorer” to “Practitioner”, it requires you to confidently “catch somebody doing something right”.

The transfer of learning over the next days is essential for you to develop your skill in being assertive.

Try not to be too serious.

For Further Information on the Assertive Communication Workshops, please go to subscribe to our website. Or contact us at +66 840 073107, or email us @

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