Workshop Overview

Most of us have the potential to be more assertive, or assertive in more situations.

At ITD we define assertion as being an approach which demonstrates an understanding of the other person’s perspective, whilst putting our own perspective in a measured and calm way.

The difference between assertive and aggressive behaviours can often be blurred, so it is essential to ensure we have defined this important distinction.

Our approach is to help people understand the underlying situation, where they feel an  assertive response would be more appropriate.

We explore what assertive, aggressive and submissive responses look like. Participants practice these different responses to develop a deeper understanding of the impact of each.

At the end of the session each participants leaves with specific behavioural action for immediate implementation.






Pre workshop activity

  • Meeting to discuss the participant’s needs and those of the organisation
  • Draft workshop outline tailored to your needs
  • Agreement of agenda
  • Participants complete a short questionnaire and read the ITD Work Style Model in preparation for the workshop.


  • Half a day to a full day, or two half days.


Typical Agenda

  • Introduction and personal objectives
  • Definition of sssertive behaviours
  • Challenges with being assertive
  • Assertive and non assertive body language
  • Behavioural conditioning
  • Context of assertion with aggressive & submissive behaviours
  • Understanding aggressive behaviours in others
  • Changing behaviour in small steps
  • Personal situations
  • Assertive behaviours for each participant
  • Personal Actions for Review in Next Session
  • Summary of Workshop

Post workshop activity

  • Participants leave with individual actions
  • Email follow up of personal action plans
  • Suggested conversation with their line manager on their actions
  • Optional WebEx conference call follow up on these actions
  • Optional 121 coaching
  • ITD blog with further tips and suggestions


Client feedback

  • “The workshop was very engaging and our guys were working on their challenges throughout the session.”
  • “Good comfortable atmosphere created from the start.”
  • “Achieved exactly what I wanted.”

Participant comments

  • “Very interesting.”
  • “I had not looked at leadership in this way before.”
  • “The difference between leading and managing is very distinct now and hugely important.”
  • “It has totally changed how I view my role; I am a leader first and a manager second.”


Call or email ITD to explore how we can help your people become more assertive at work



Assertiveness – Case Study

Secretaries in a business in Paris


The secretaries in this organisation perform a vital role in delivering a first class service to clients. They work in a highly pressurised work environment where behaviours can sometimes be driven by this pressure and be reactive rather than thought through.


In order for the business to be as efficient as possible it is vital for the secretaries to be assertive in working with colleagues. But this can be counter instinctive with people in this role. Their first thought is to provide a great service which can easily be interpreted as always saying ‘yes’. However saying yes can sometimes lead to delivering a poorer service. This occurs when the secretary takes on too much work, puts too much pressure on themselves and as a consequence may miss deadlines or deliver less accurate work.



We developed a half day workshop with a blend of discussion on the secretaries individual situations and role play practice. We focussed on:

  • Identifying specific assertive responses to aggressive behaviours.
  • How to develop confidence in knowing how to be assertive
  • Developing confidence in identifying when to be assertive

We followed up with the participants in a face to face session, on their actions 6 months after the workshop.



The main outcomes of this session were:

  • Every secretary developed knowledge of how they could be more assertive.
  • Each one implemented there action.
  • In every case the assertive behaviour created a positive response from their work colleague.
  • The work atmosphere for each participant improved.

What the participants said

  • “Perfect.”
  • “Thank you, this has changed my whole approach to my work”
  • “We are all very grateful”
  • “My boss was a tiger, but now he is a kitten!”


Tagged on:                                 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *