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Assertiveness Course Modules

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Sometimes attributed to self-esteem, our assertiveness modules will help your participants to build their self-confidence and become more self-assured without being aggressive.

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Assertiveness – How Will You Handle It?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity to explore a variety of situations experienced during the working day and consider how best to handle each one assertively.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity to explore a variety of situations experienced during the working day and consider how best to handle each one assertively.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff up to managerial level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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At a Crossroads - Board Game for Trainers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a trainer and how to approach them effectively.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a trainer and how to approach them effectively.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 to 18 participants.

Useful For:
New trainers or those looking to build their skills and review challenges they might face or have faced.

You'll Need:
• Playing pieces, one per team.
• Small prize for the winning team.
• 60 second timer or stopwatch.
• Facilitator Traffic Lights.
• At a Crossroads Conundrum Cards.
• At a Crossroads Diversion Cards (3 per team).
• At a Crossroads Game Board.
• At a Crossroads Suggested Answers (for the facilitator).

New: Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
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Stopwatches can also be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of up to 18 participants. It is run as a competitive game, which is a race to the finish and played in teams of two or three players. We do not recommend having teams with more than three participants.

All the scenarios contained in the cards are based on actual experiences faced by trainers.

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Building Determination

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of determination in building resilience.
• To identify what determination is and where it comes from.
• To list some of the key factors that help make people more determined.
• To identify ways to become more determined.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of determination in building resilience.
• To identify what determination is and where it comes from.
• To list some of the key factors that help make people more determined.
• To identify ways to become more determined.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff and managers at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Dealing with Aggressive Behaviour

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop guidelines for dealing assertively with aggressive behaviour.
• To encourage participants to develop and demonstrate one appropriate and one inappropriate response to aggressive behaviour.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be complete within 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 50 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To help participants develop guidelines for dealing assertively with aggressive behaviour.
• To encourage participants to develop and demonstrate one appropriate and one inappropriate response to aggressive behaviour.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
We recommend using this module only when participants are able to recognise the difference between aggressive, submissive and assertive behaviour. (See the module, “What is Assertiveness?”). This module has two alternative handouts – one with work based scenarios to discuss, and one with non-work based scenarios.

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Difficult People - And How to Deal with Them

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to increase awareness of their emotional reaction to other people’s behaviour and how to deal with people they find ‘difficult’.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to increase awareness of their emotional reaction to other people’s behaviour and how to deal with people they find ‘difficult’.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
The modules Managing Emotions and Changing Perceptions and Emotions are complementary to this module and can be combined with it to make a longer session.

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Discussion - Barriers to Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to test their communication skills.
• To test participants’ abilities to get their point across effectively whilst building an understanding of others’ feelings.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 50 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to test their communication skills.
• To test participants’ abilities to get their point across effectively whilst building an understanding of others’ feelings.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Ideally, you will have breakout space for the teams to hold their discussions away from the other team(s).

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Emotional Intelligence Part 1 - Self-Awareness

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To raise awareness of self-awareness, the first strand of emotional intelligence.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed in about 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To raise awareness of self-awareness, the first strand of emotional intelligence.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than a flipchart, pens and the handouts provided.

Notes:
It is important to have an understanding of emotional intelligence and the effects of discussing it with a group of participants. You will find Mike Bagshaw’s Article in Trainers’ Library useful for this.

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Facing up to Challenges - Assertiveness Role-Play

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide participants with an opportunity to practise responding assertively to a range of situations.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 70 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 90 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide participants with an opportunity to practise responding assertively to a range of situations.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This activity is designed to be used as a conclusion to training around assertive behaviour. It provides participants with an opportunity to practise responding assertively to a range of situations - whether it's with managing upwards, dealing with peers and colleagues or in personal situations.

This exercise is easily adapted and can be used in a variety of ways depending on your participants and the time available. For example, you can run it:

• As a small group discussion.
• As a role-play exercise with 2 participants role-playing and an observer giving feedback.
• By asking each participant to work on one scenario and then role-play it with the trainer with feedback from the rest of the group.

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Fight, Flight or Friendship? - Approaches to Managing Conflict

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 135 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to identify different approaches that can be used to manage conflict.
• To explain the advantages and disadvantages of five key approaches used in managing conflict.
• To identify when it is appropriate to use the various approaches.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 90 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 135 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to identify different approaches that can be used to manage conflict.
• To explain the advantages and disadvantages of five key approaches used in managing conflict.
• To identify when it is appropriate to use the various approaches.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants. The exercises work best with groups of ten or fewer.

Useful For:
Staff who need to manage conflict and interpersonal relationships.

You'll Need:
Break-out rooms if possible.

Notes:
It is recommended that you keep the participant group size to ten or fewer for this module.

This module can be used as a stand-alone module or as a follow on to 'The Anatomy of Conflict'.

The module is comprised of two exercises. Depending on your needs these can be run as two separate 'mini-modules'.

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Half Full? - Optimism and its Importance

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider their attitude.
• To encourage discussion around optimistic versus pessimistic outlooks.
• To recognise the impact that attitude has on performance.
• To enable participants to identify personal traits that might be holding them back.
• To encourage leaders to consider how they might deal with negative attitudes in their team.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider their attitude.
• To encourage discussion around optimistic versus pessimistic outlooks.
• To recognise the impact that attitude has on performance.
• To enable participants to identify personal traits that might be holding them back.
• To encourage leaders to consider how they might deal with negative attitudes in their team.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module provides an excellent opportunity, when working with a wide range of participants, to consider how attitude can impact on performance. Topics where the inclusion of a module looking at optimism/pessimism might be beneficial include:
• Managing change.
• Problem solving and decision making.
• Customer service.
• Selling skills.
• Leading a team.
• Strategic leadership.
• Communication skills.
• Planning and scheduling.

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How Assertive Are You?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants understand their current use of assertive behaviour and identify areas for improvement.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be complete within 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To help participants understand their current use of assertive behaviour and identify areas for improvement.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisor level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module includes a simple quiz to help participants identify the behaviours they currently feel comfortable with.

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Island of Opportunity - A Test of Negotiation Skills

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of building a clear understanding of needs and feelings in negotiation, through effective questioning and listening.
• To show the importance of separating people and personalities from the problems.
• To show the value of a shared problem/creative solution finding approach to negotiation.
• To provide an opportunity to practise negotiation, teamwork and problem solving skills.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 70 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of building a clear understanding of needs and feelings in negotiation, through effective questioning and listening.
• To show the importance of separating people and personalities from the problems.
• To show the value of a shared problem/creative solution finding approach to negotiation.
• To provide an opportunity to practise negotiation, teamwork and problem solving skills.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Negotiation skills, communication, leadership, teamwork and collaboration, and problem solving.

Group Size:
This game involves participants working individually (or in pairs) representing one of 3 or, ideally 4 tribes. So each game requires a minimum of 3 participants and a maximum of 8. You can have several games running concurrently alongside each other.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels who are involved in negotiating but managers in particular.

You'll Need:
• An island map for each group of 3 or 4 tribes and ideally they should be A3 or larger and laminated.
• A different brief for each tribe.
• Chinagraph pencils (or similar) and wipes are recommended if your maps are laminated.

Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
It’s best to run this exercise module without too much explanation.

This exercise has many different potential solutions – the learning comes from the experience of trying to find one that all parties can agree to.

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Jess Blonde - Tough Negotiations for Senior Managers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their negotiation skills and in particular their ability to establish their needs and wants, and those of the other party, prior to commencing negotiating.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 90 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their negotiation skills and in particular their ability to establish their needs and wants, and those of the other party, prior to commencing negotiating.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Communication skills, leadership, negotiation, teamwork and collaboration, and problem solving.

Group Size:
This exercise involves participants working in four teams. You’ll need a minimum of 2 participants in each team and a maximum of 6.

Useful For:
Managers, and particularly those at a more senior level.

You'll Need:
• Access to the Internet, to use our online scoring tool, necessary to assess teams’ performances and a printer to provide participants a copy of the results. (Only you will need this, not your participants.)
• Plenty of space. Ideally each of your four teams will have a separate breakout room to work in.
• A calculator for each team.
• Highlighters, pens and pencils for each team.
• A small prize for the winning team.
• A bell (optional) - available to buy from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
The exercise can also be used at the end of a training event focused on negotiation, allowing participants to apply new knowledge and skills.

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Making and Refusing Requests

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To draw up some guidelines for making and refusing requests.
• To describe and practise a number of assertiveness techniques.
• To test participants’ understanding of assertive behaviour.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To draw up some guidelines for making and refusing requests.
• To describe and practise a number of assertiveness techniques.
• To test participants’ understanding of assertive behaviour.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisor level.

You'll Need:
• Half of the participants will need Handout 1 and the rest will need Handout 2. Everyone will need a copy of Handout 3.

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Pitfalls and Trampolines - Customer Service

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage discussion about customer service.
• To identify common pitfalls to avoid in relation to customer service.
• To highlight and share best practices for satisfying and delighting customers.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage discussion about customer service.
• To identify common pitfalls to avoid in relation to customer service.
• To highlight and share best practices for satisfying and delighting customers.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Customer care, communication skills, teamwork and collaboration, creative thinking and problem solving.

Group Size:
In this exercise participants can play individually, although we recommend they play in pairs/small teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels especially those in a customer facing role.

You'll Need:
• A counter for every team.
• Dice.
• A 'Pitfalls and Trampolines' game board and a set of Pitfall cards and Trampoline cards for each game in play.

Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
Pitfalls and Trampolines is a fun board game. It can be used at any point within a training event, but is perhaps most useful as a tool for reviewing key learning points and for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Some of the cards may not be applicable to your participants so, before starting the exercise, review all of the Pitfalls and Trampolines cards and remove any that aren’t relevant.

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The Importance of Assertiveness

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the importance and value of assertive and responsive behaviour.
• To build an understanding of the impact of assertive behaviour on ourselves and others.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the importance and value of assertive and responsive behaviour.
• To build an understanding of the impact of assertive behaviour on ourselves and others.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. It can be used with people who don't know one another at all, or who have met/worked together previously.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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We Need to Talk - Holding Difficult Conversations

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 130 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants prepare for and conduct conversations they find difficult.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed in about 80 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 130 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants prepare for and conduct conversations they find difficult.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module helps participants to understand what makes difficult conversations ‘difficult’ and encourages them to think about how they approach such conversations.

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What is Assertiveness?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To define assertiveness.
• To identify the main characteristics of assertiveness.
• To distinguish assertive behaviour from aggressive and submissive behaviours.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be complete within 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To define assertiveness.
• To identify the main characteristics of assertiveness.
• To distinguish assertive behaviour from aggressive and submissive behaviours.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisor level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Who Is Presenting? - An Introduction to Assertiveness/Transactional Analysis

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide an early opportunity for participants to test their assertive skills.
• To enable participants to identify whether they have a tendency to adopt aggressive or submissive behaviour.
• To provide an opportunity for participants to observe Transactional Analysis behaviours in practice.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide an early opportunity for participants to test their assertive skills.
• To enable participants to identify whether they have a tendency to adopt aggressive or submissive behaviour.
• To provide an opportunity for participants to observe Transactional Analysis behaviours in practice.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise gives participants an opportunity to consider their own behaviours. It can give facilitator's a useful insight into behaviour, although the briefs do encourage particular types of behaviour.

This module provides a powerful introduction to Transactional Analysis.

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Why Do I Always Get Them - Notes Supporting the Glasstap Film

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 115 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider the difference between good and bad customer service.
• To encourage participants to consider the behaviours that those who deliver good customer service demonstrate.
• To consider strategies for avoiding or managing customer conflict.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes (including the time required to view the training film). In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 115 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider the difference between good and bad customer service.
• To encourage participants to consider the behaviours that those who deliver good customer service demonstrate.
• To consider strategies for avoiding or managing customer conflict.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to about 15 participants, as long as suitable projection facilities are available to give everyone a clear view of the training video.

Useful For:
Anyone in a customer facing role.

You'll Need:
• A computer with internet connection and a means of connecting to a screen.

Notes:
This module is designed to accompany the Glasstap film, ‘Why Do I Always Get Them?’

This exercise involves a look at customer service, particularly in relation to face-to-face contact, managing difficult situations and conflict.

If your level of membership doesn’t include the option to stream this video, you can purchase a digital copy from Trainers' Market.

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Yes But, No But! - Seeking Win-Win in Day-to-Day Situations

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider whether they naturally tend towards aggressive, submissive or assertive behaviour.
• To encourage participants to consider their reasons for choosing particular responses in common situations.
• To encourage participants to reflect on the reasons for others choosing aggressive, submissive or assertive behaviour.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 30 minutes to complete (longer for large groups). In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider whether they naturally tend towards aggressive, submissive or assertive behaviour.
• To encourage participants to consider their reasons for choosing particular responses in common situations.
• To encourage participants to reflect on the reasons for others choosing aggressive, submissive or assertive behaviour.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Prior to running the exercise, print off one set of question cards for each team that you'll have, and enough answer cards to be able to give each participant one set of each: Yes, No, But, If, Unless, Because.

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