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Many people confuse assertiveness with aggression. However, truly assertive people have self-awareness, confidence, and refined communication abilities that enable them to advance their point of view without aggression.

The term 'assertive' can be used to describe a communication style that is respectful of others but clear and firm in intent.

Successful assertiveness involves pulling together a range of tools and techniques.  The Summary provides six recommended steps which can be shared with leaders, managers and employees within the organisation:

Step 1: Behaviour Rehearsal
Step 2: Repeated assertion
Step 3: Fogging
Step 4: Negative enquiry
Step 5: Negative assertion
Step 6: Workplace compromise

For further information on this topic please see the HR Resource Centre article ‘Communication styles’.

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