Assertiveness training

Assertiveness Training

Our assertiveness training helps you to develop your confidence, by giving you ideas on how to be assertive. We then go further by giving you the behavioural tools to make the changes you want to make. Assertiveness is about finding the right balance in communication, which means that being too strong and we can be seen as aggressive, whereas being too soft means we can be perceived as submissive.

To be assertive we need to be have a balanced approach. We need to put our point of view across, whilst showing that we appreciate the other person’s point of view. Our training gives you the tools and behavioural change strategies to become more confident in your communication and therefore more assertive.

3 Hour Virtual Workshop

We deliver our assertiveness training as a three hour virtual workshop. This workshop format means you are involved in discussion, or activities throughout the session, because interaction is key to learning.

The content is tailored to your needs through a discussion about the participants. This means you get the training you specificaly need.


Assertiveness often forms part of our many communication skills training courses. To see how this has worked for other clients see below and take a look at more reviews of our training at

Impact of Professional Communication

5.0 rating
August 14, 2020

The course what so interesting and – from my perspective – very important. Martin has shown what effects professional communication has. You can achieve so much and turn even difficult communication into communication that is satisfying for all sides. Martin has responded to each of us. I liked very much that he asked everyone about special situations and then analysed with us how best to behave in such situations. That was very helpful. I have recommend the course to my colleagues. After taking part in the course, I noticed that there is also a need among my colleagues.

Jutta Vogeley-Kyere

An excellent session on presenting virtually

5.0 rating
August 13, 2020

Engaging presenter, who demonstrated the skills of presenting well while delivering the session, and brought attendees in through useful workshop exercises. Lots of food for thought and I came away with tips and skills that I will definitely be implementing in the future.

Kate Manning

A practical, enjoyable and relevant course

4.0 rating
August 7, 2020

I enjoyed the course, not only because the subject is most relevant but also because of the pace and skill of the presenter, and the delivery as an interactive course. It made me review my thoughts and I learnt a few more tips.

Araceli Fombellida

Assertiveness Training - the potential

Our assertiveness training sessions are useful to help people in everyday workplace situations. Some people are naturally assertive, but many of us are not and this is where training can have a huge impact. Most of us have the potential to be more assertive, both generally and in specific situations. This means that with training we have the potential to improve.

At ITD we define assertiveness as being able to explain that you understand the other person’s needs or perspective, whilst at the same time, putting your own point of view across. And it means doing this in a calm and measured way, because being over emotional can be read as being aggressive.

Having said that, the difference between assertive and aggressive can often be blurred. This means we have to be very clear what assertiveness is and what it is not. And we do this by explaining and illustrating assertive behaviours.

Our approach to Assertiveness Training

At ITD we take a very practical, approach to assertiveness training, which means the sessions are run as workshops rather courses. As a result you are working on practical ideas that apply to everyday situations.

Our approach is to help people understand the underlying situation, to find out where they feel an assertive response would be more appropriate. Our assertiveness training workshop is based on typical scenarios from our experience, as well as the situations the participants bring into the training room. This style is a blend of training and coaching, with facilitation and instruction from our experienced trainer, making the session practical and very useful.

We explore what assertive, aggressive and submissive responses look like. Participants practice assertive responses so that you develop a deeper understanding of the impact of this approach. We look at how we need to tailor what we say to the situation and individuals involved, so that the communication has more chance of success.

At the end of the session each participant leaves with specific behavioural actions, helping to reinforce the learning. We have developed a unique behavioural change action planning tool. This is based on researched and proven behavioural change theories. It gives the participants the best chance of implementing their actions back in the workplace, therefore making the investment more worth while.

assertiveness training course

Assertivess Training Course Overview

Assertiveness training from ITD works on changing behaviours. We cover ideas on how to be assertive, then we work out how you can be more assertive in your circumstances. We develop action plans with you that will help develop your confidence, using behavioural change ideas and research.


  • Introduction and personal objectives.
  • Definition of assertive 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.
  • Assertive body language.
  • Changing behaviour in small steps.
  • Personal live situations.
  • Assertive behaviours for each participant.
  • Practice of participants situations.
  • Summary of workshop.
  • Personal actions.

Pre Workshop

  • Conversation to discuss the participants’ needs and those of the organisation.
  • Draft workshop outline tailored to your needs.
  • Agreement of agenda.
  • Participants complete a short online questionnaire.

Post Workshop

  • Participants leave with individual actions.
  • Email follow up of personal action plans.
  • Suggested conversation with their line manager on their actions.
  • Optional 121 coaching.

Learning Outcomes

Participants gain:

  • A clear understanding of what assertiveness is and how it impacts on everyday working life.
  • Specific actions for implementation immediately at work.
  • A real appreciation of how assertive behaviour is not that different from their current behaviours
  • Support in implementing assertive behaviour.

Participant numbers

The subject of assertiveness is ideally suited to small group numbers of around six. That’s because it gives people the time to open up and discuss their challenges with assertiveness. 

Client Feedback

  • “Excellent training and great trainer who held our attention for the whole day and time just flew by.”
  • “We always get great feedback for this session which we have been running for a number of years.”

Participant Feedback

  • “Very useful training which gave me ideas I will use at work tomorrow!”
  • “I can see now I need to be less direct and more assertive, especially if I want to win people over.”
  • “The action planning piece was very useful in that we produced very detailed and realistic plans.”
  • “I feel very confident that I can be more assertive in the situations I defined. The small steps approach will work for me.”

Find out more

"Assertiveness means saying what you want to say in a confident and calm way, whilst recognising the positions of others."

Why is assertiveness and assertiveness training important?

Assertiveness is vital in any work environment both from the individual’s and organisational viewpoint. A person who is assertive puts their thoughts and opinions across clearly. They manage their time more effectively, because they will discuss workload when taking on new tasks. The person who is assertive does not let stressful situations build up without saying something.

Assertiveness is important because it has such a big impact at work. In our training we have found the impact of developing assertiveness to be far more than just on the immediate situation. It helps with long term relationships. Our assertiveness training has also helped people in their personal lives.

Assertiveness training is one way of developing the skills of being assertive. We have seen people go from being very submissive, to being assertive enough to change their life at work. At ITD our assertiveness training gives you the ideas, techniques and frameworks to develop your knowledge of how to be assertive. Our training takes this one step further and applies these ideas to your situations, which means you are very clear on what you need to do to be more assertive.

Through role play and coaching we take this still further by developing your skills in situations relevant to you. It’s worth bearing in mind that being more assertive through assertiveness training, can help the aggressive person just as much as the submissive person.

Free Download - Assertiveness Training Tip Sheet

Free Download - ITD Tip Sheet Assertiveness

What is Assertive body language?

As explained above, assertive behaviour strikes a balance between standing up for yourself and listening to the other person, so that the communication is balanced and professional.

Assertiveness strikes a balance between aggressive and assertive behaviours. So let’s take a look at these in more detail. What is aggressive behaviour? Aggressive behaviour is where we show no interest in the opinions, thoughts, or views of the other person.  This means not listening, talking over the other person and not asking for their opinion.

What is submissive behaviour? Submissive behaviour is where we do not show, or communicate our own opinions, or point of view, only showing an interest in the other person. So this means, not speaking up and agreeing to something whilst inside we’re saying ‘No!’

Assertive body language – Steady eye contact, but not continuous, looking at another place, or point of rest, from time to time.  This means making all parties feel comfortable.

Aggressive body language – Continuous eye contact, glaring or staring unblinkingly at the other person. Or not looking at the other person at all. Also not looking at the other person, but only looking at a third person, or their own phone, or their computer. Pointing is also aggressive.  So aggressive behaviour can be subtle or very obvious.

Submissive body language – Body language which demonstrates submissive a approach includes standing whilst the other person is sitting. It also includes the inability to hold eye contact with the other person, and looking down for most of the time. Also not sayng things that you really would like to say. So submissive body language is about reducing your level of  engagement.

Assertiveness training

International locations where we have delivered Assertiveness Training

We have delivered this training in a wide variety of countries from across Europe, UAE and Saudi Arabia. From US and Hong Kong to Australia. This means we have a broad experience of assertiveness in different countries and cultures. Which in turn means we have almost certainly met with your challenges before and can help you to develop your assertiveness.

Some of our Assertiveness Training clients

Some of the roles we have helped with our Assertiveness Training

We have worked with a wide variety of roles in our assertiveness workshops.  From receptionists and administrators, to secretaries and office managers. From junior lawyers to customer service roles and IT managers, as well as sales people and thier managers. This shows we have a broad experience of working with many different roles and helping them to develop their assertivenes. Which in turn means we can almost certainly help you with your training needs.

What will you learn?

  • Improve interpersonal relationships with colleagues, by being clearer about what you need.
  • Confidence in communicating assertively, by learning and planning new behaviours.
  • Improved self awareness of your existing levels of assertive / aggressive / submissive communication, by reflecting on your behaviours.
  • Improved understanding of different people's points of view, which means using the models we introduce and applying them to your everyday situations.
  • Strategies for developing assertiveness, by planning your actions.
  • Help with specific situations in your workplace, through coaching by the training consultant.
  • Get ideas on assertiveness which can be used straight away, because they are framed in your work context.

Situational assertiveness

Situational assertiveness is the idea that your level of assertiveness depends on the situation you are in, so that we adapt accordingly. In some situations we can be comfortably assertive. In other situations our assertiveness fades and we become submissive, or aggressive.

Understanding how the situation can affect our assertiveness, helps in developing more assertive behaviours. Being assertive with a colleague can be much easier than with a line manager, senior manager, or client. Using our situational tool can help to recognise where you could be more assertive.

We also use behavioural change tools to underpin your development of assertive behaviours in those situations you want to focus on.

For other specific communication training courses linked to assertiveness, click on the images

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Frameworks & models covered in this training

Communication Model

time management training

Personality Model

Assertiveness Training Assertive Model

Assertiveness Model

How to improve communication skills

Body Language Model

Assertiveness Training - Behavioural Chamge Model

Behavioural Change Model

Assertiveness Training Action Planning Tool

Action Planning Tool

Typical challenges of participants on our Assertiveness Training

Participants are encouraged to explain their challenegs with being assertive. With this information we can explore specific ideas to develop a better approach. Here are some examples from previous participants:

  • “I find it very hard to say no when I’m asked to do more work, even when I don’t have the time. Which means I often work late.”
  • “One of my colleagues does not pull her weight, but the manager doesn’t notice. So I want to get ideas on how to do something about it.”
  • “My boss does not appreciate me, or the work that I do. So I'm actually thinking about leaving, although I don't want to”
  • “The new manager takes all the credit for my work and I need to talk to him about this. Trouble is, I’m not sure how. And if I don't work this out, it's going to drive me nuts ”
  • "I want to get ideas on how to communicate with very forceful colleagues. Which means I need ideas on how to be more direct"
  • "I find it very nerve racking when speaking up in meetings with seniors, because I find them very intimidating."
Assertiveness Training Assertive Conversation
Assertiveness training can help in working with colleagues, senior managers and clients, and often results in better relationships for everyone.

How could our assertiveness training help you?

  • Improve confidence.
  • Gain ideas on how to approach different situations.
  • Learn how to plan communication to be more assertive.
  • Gain an understanding of the building blocks of communication.
  • Learn assertive communication models.
  • Practice real situations.
  • Receive coaching to develop skills.
  • Develop a personal action plan with coaching from the trainer.

What does our Assertiveness Training include?

The agenda can be adapted to suit the needs of your organisation, and will typically include the areas listed earlier on this page.

We always define what  assertiveness is and its impact in the workplace, because having a clear definition will help you identfy the gap that requires attention.

The workshop style we use means we start with a discussion of the your challenges with assertiveness. This means we explore how not being assertive affects people’s working lives, work life balance and enjoyment of work.

We explain various assertiveness models, ideas and behaviours, so that you have a grasp of the theories which act as foundations to assertive behaviours.

With your challenges in mind we apply ideas so that you can clearly see the potential impact of becoming more assertive. 

As time allows you practise the skills in sitations relevant to you, which means it will be easier for you to apply these back in the workplace. This includes coaching from the training consultant.

By the end you prepare a practical action planning using our behavioural change model, so that you are prepared for future challenges.

assertiveness at work

Assertiveness Training - Case study


Secretaries in a large international business in Paris.


The secretaries in this organisation perform a vital role in delivering a first class service to clients, both internal and external. They work in a highly pressurised environment where behaviours can sometimes be driven by this pressure and are therefore reactive rather than thought through. This means the secretaries need to respond to aggression which whilst understandable, is still unnecessary and needs to be handled delicately as well as assertively.


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 a support 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. they put too much pressure on themselves and as a result may miss deadlines, or deliver less accurate work. So the need is simply to be more assertive.


We developed a half day workshop which included a blend of discussion on the secretaries’ individual situations, with role play practice. We focused on:

  • Identifying specific assertive responses to aggressive behaviours.
  • Planning how the recipient may respond to our assertion.
  • Using the ITD work style model to understand work behaviours in others.
  • Defining assertive, aggressive and submissive behaviours and responses.
  • How to develop confidence in being assertive.
  • Assertion in body language.
  • What to do when; a wide range of situations discussed and reviewed.
  • Developing confidence in identifying when to be assertive.
  • Personal action plans using the unique ITD behavioural change action planning tool.

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


The main outcomes of this session were:

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

Participant Feedback

  • “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!”

Client Comments

The guys were delighted with the training. It really helped them in their relationships with their managers.

Why do organisations choose ITD for their Assertiveness Training?

  • 1. We will design the training to suit your needs at no extra cost.
  • 2. Our training is focused on outputs, which means putting ideas into action.
  • 3. The ideas we introduce are all very practical, based on our more than twenty years of experience.
  • 4. Our flexible approach to fees means we can design training to fit your budget.
  • 5. Our unique approach to behavioural change ensures the training will help your people to be more assertive.
  • 6. We follow up the training with further ideas, emails and telephone coaching were required.

Start a conversation

Call us on +44 (0)800 804 8086 to discuss your needs for Assertiveness Training

For Assertion in Sales Training go to our sales training website: