How to be Assertive


Earn 1 CPD Point with this Resource

How can I be more assertive? What are assertiveness skills? How can I improve my assertiveness skills? For many managers being appropriately assertive can be a challenge. They don't want to be aggressive and yet they do not want to be overly accommodating and too responsive to the needs of others. Hence they frequently ask the above questions.

The key to being appropriately assertive is to recognise that you have rights but so do others with whom you communicate. So you need to strike a balance. You need to value your own rights AND the rights of others. Then you need to use the right skills and behaviours to do this.

The first step is to recognise whether as an individual you tend to be assertive or responsive. You will be able to discover this using a simple questionnaire. You will also be able to identify the key characteristics of assertive and responsive people including their;

  • Basic stance.
  • Intention.
  • Beliefs.
  • Behaviour traits.
  • Their effect on others
  • The way they express themselves.

In addition you will be able to recognise the characteristics of aggressive and non-assertive/overly responsive people. Knowing these characteristics you will be able to use the extensive explanatory notes and guidelines we give you to handle each type with appropriate assertiveness. To grow and develop your skills in this area of assertiveness you will be able to use a Personal Develop Plan and recommended activities.


  • Making a request which gets a Yes response.
  • Refusing a request without giving offence.
  • Being assertive with your manager, peers and direct reports to get your needs met.
  • Changing your preferred approach to being less/more assertive or less/more responsive.
  • Growing your confidence in handling the negative aggressive or non-responsive behaviours of others.