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Assertiveness and Interpersonal Conflict

Assertiveness and Interpersonal Conflict

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Assertiveness and Interpersonal Conflict

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  1. Assertiveness and Interpersonal Conflict Jill Phillips

  2. Learning Outcomes • Define assertiveness • Differentiate between assertiveness, aggression & submission • Discuss how assertiveness can impact on healthcare delivery • Discuss assertive “I” messages

  3. Misconceptions • Assertiveness can be perceived as - aggressive - uncaring

  4. Assertiveness • To respectfully and clearly express your views, observations or feelings, without any likely negative consequences or implications for the other person • Behaviour which enables a person to act in his/her own best interests, to stand up for him/herself without undue anxiety, to express his/her honest feelings comfortably, or to exercise his/her own rights without denying the rights of others (Alberti & Emmons, 1970 as cited in Rungapadiachy, 1999).

  5. An assertive person steers a middle course between not doing anything and doing too much • An assertive person gets the work of interpersonal communication done but does so in a way that respects both his or her own rights and the rights of other people (Egan, 1977 as cited in Rungapadiachy, 1999). • Standing up for your own rights in such a way that you do not violate another person’s rights. Expressing your needs, wants, opinions, feelings and beliefs in direct, honest and appropriate ways (Back & Back, 1991 as cited in Rungapadiachy, 1999). • “I win and you win” • “I’m OK, you’re OK”

  6. Submissiveness • Lack of confidence in one’s behaviour • Results in rights being violated • I let you have your way even if its an inconvenience • Inability to say no to a request or feeling guilty after having said no • “I’m not OK and you’re OK” • “I lose and you win”

  7. Saying sorry even when its not your fault • Accepting the blame even if you are not responsible • Always behaving in a way which gives the impression that others are superior to yourself • The word “no” does not exist in your vocabulary • A non-assertive person is likely to think of an appropriate response after the opportunity has passed

  8. Aggressiveness • Behaviour suggests a lack of respect for others • Emphasis is on satisfying ones own needs at the expense of others, and violating their rights in the process • I stand up for my rights and that’s all that matters • “I win, you lose”

  9. Behaviours • Submissiveness - You deny yourself - You feel inhibited and guilty - You get hurt - You feel anxious - You are dictated to by others - You do not achieve what you want - Others achieve their goals at your expense

  10. Behaviours • Assertiveness - You enhance your growth - You express freely - You feel good about yourself - You make your own choice - You may achieve your goal

  11. Behaviours • Aggressiveness - You deny others - You bully others - You tend to force others into giving in - You choose for others - You achieve your goals at the expense of others

  12. Aggressiveness Cont’d - Being verbally abusive - Being physically abusive - behaving in a manner that conveys an element of superiority towards others - Being sarcastic (indirect aggression)

  13. A question of rights • ‘Rights’ at the heart of assertiveness • If people don’t know their rights then they are unlikely to know how to protect them

  14. Some Basic Rights • The right to say no if that is what you want • The right to be you • The right to change your mind • The right to respect • The right to make your own choices • The right to express your opinions and your beliefs . . . And many, many more

  15. Benefits of Submissiveness • Avoiding conflict • Being left in peace & quiet • Approval • Acceptance • Come across as nice & dependable

  16. Benefits of Aggressiveness • Venting feelings of anger • Fewer chances of your rights being violated • More often you get what you want • Feeling of domination • Feeling superior to others • Ignoring or dismissing the behaviour of others

  17. Benefits of Assertiveness • Being respected for being honest & fair • Developing a sense of self-respect • Having a personal sense of value and positive self-esteem • Having the ability to establishing good interpersonal relationships with others • Being able to satisfy your own needs • Not having to have to think of excuses to justify your reasons for having said no

  18. Cont’d • Never having to be in the role of the victim • Being in charge of your own feelings • Feeling a sense of independence

  19. Types of Assertion • Direct or basic • Indirect • Empathetic • Discrepancy • Praise • Compromise

  20. Therefore assertion . . . • Does not necessarily mean a categorical ‘no’ AND You do what feels right so long as you are not inconvenienced and the other persons rights are not being interfered with

  21. Correlation between self concept and assertive behaviour • Positive perception of: - body image - positive self-esteem - congruence between ideal self & true self If one feels confident about self they are likely to behave confidently

  22. Do’s & Don’ts • Don’t be influenced by unrealistic goals • Own what you say – “I” statements • Own feelings and let others be in charge of their feelings • Confront others with factual information • Be congruent between verbals & non-verbals (say what you mean and mean what you say)

  23. Cont’d • Assertion may not always be appropriate • Display the “broken record behaviour” • Maintain eye contact • Use the correct paralanguage

  24. Receiving Criticism • Listen • Acknowledge • Reflect • Analyse • Accept or • Reject the feedback

  25. Assertiveness & health care delivery • The concept of caring suggests the health professional has to safeguard the health & welfare of the client • By assisting clients to understand their rights • Role of client advocate

  26. Unassertiveness - doesn’t install confidence • Aggressiveness - generates fear • Submissiveness - casts doubt re - efficiency These are considered non-therapeutic states

  27. References • Rungapadiachy, D. M. (1999). Interpersonal communication and psychology for health care professionals: Theory and practice. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann • Stein-Parbury, J. (2005). Patient and person: Interpersonal skills in nursing (3rd ed.). Sydney: Elsevier