Assertiveness training

Our assertiveness training helps you to develop your confidence. We do this 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. Too strong and we can be seen as aggressive. Overly soft and we can be perceived as being 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.

Assertiveness Training - the ITD Approach

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 huge impact. 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. And doing this in a calm and measured way. The difference between assertive and aggressive behaviours can often be blurred. This means we have to be very clear what assertiveness is and what it isn’t .

Our approach to Assertiveness Training

At ITD we take a very practical, workshop style to assertiveness training. Our approach is to help people understand the underlying situation, where they feel an assertive response would be more appropriate. Our assertiveness training workshop is based on typical scenarios from our experience and 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.

We explore what assertive, aggressive and submissive responses look like. Participants practice assertive responses to 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.

At the end of the session each participant leaves with specific behavioural actions. We have developed a unique 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.

"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 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. This means you are very clear on what you need to do should you choose 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 behaviour?

Assertive behaviour strikes a balance between standing up for oneself and listening to the other person. What is aggressive behaviour? Aggressive behaviour is where we show no interest in the opinions, thoughts or views of the other person.   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.  

Assertive body language – Steady eye contact, but not continuous, going to another place or point of rest from time to time.  

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 phone, or their computer etc. Pointing is also aggressive.  

Submissive body language – Body language which demonstrates subservience. 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.

Assertiveness training

Some of the countries where we have delivered Assertiveness Training

  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Portugal
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • United States

Some of our Assertiveness Training clients

Some of the roles we have helped with our Assertiveness Training

  • Secretaries
  • Admin Assistants
  • HR Managers
  • Trainee Lawyers
  • Associate Lawyers
  • Office Managers
  • Sales Managers
  • Sales People
  • IT Engineers
  • Customer Service
  • Personal Assistants
  • Marketing Associate
  • HR Managers
  • HR Executives
  • IT Managers
  • IT Trainers
  • Finance Managers
  • Receptionists

What will you learn from our Assertiveness Training?

  • Improved interpersonal relationships with colleagues.
  • Confidence in communicating assertively.
  • Self awareness of your existing levels of assertive / aggressive / submissive communication.
  • Improved understanding of different people's points of view.
  • Strategies for developing your assertiveness.
  • Help with specific situations in your workplace.
  • Get ideas on assertiveness which can be used straight away.

Situational assertiveness

Situational assertiveness is the idea that our level of assertiveness depends on the situation. 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

assertiveness training
Communication Skills Training
assertiveness training
Customer Service Training
assertiveness training
Handling Difficult Conversations
assertiveness training
Management Training
Presentation Skills Training
assertiveness training
Written Communication Skills

Frameworks & models covered in our Assertiveness Training

Communication Model

Helps you define where you want to develop and improve. Focuses your thinking on key areas.

time management training

Personality Model

Gives you a context for skill development. Shows the impact of personality on assertiveness.

Assertiveness Training Assertive Model

Assertiveness Model

Assertiveness model gives you context for your behaviours and possible movement.

How to improve communication skills

Body Language Model

Simple framework for you to reflect on your own body language and those of others.

Assertiveness Training - Behavioural Chamge Model

Behavioural Change Model

Based on research to give you a simple framework for realistic planning of your behavioural change.

Assertiveness Training Action Planning Tool

Action Planning Tool

Simple tool based on the behavioural change approach to plan your personal action priorities.

Typical challenges of participants on our Assertiveness Training

  • “I find it very hard to say no when I’m asked to do more work. Even when I don’t have the time.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • "I want to get ideas on how to communicate with very forceful colleagues."
  • "I find it very nerve racking when speaking up in meetings with seniors."
  • "I've reieved feedback that I need to learn how to work with colleagues who ask really detailed questions."
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 does our Assertiveness Training help your people?

  • 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:

  • Exploration of what assertiveness is and its impact in the workplace.
  • Discussion of the participants’ challenges with assertiveness. Includes how not being assertive affects people’s working lives, work life balance and enjoyment of work.
  • Explanation of assertiveness models, ideas and behaviours.
  • Application of these ideas to the participant’s challenges.
  • Practice and discussion with coaching from the training consultant.
  • Practical action planning using our behavioural change model.

Assertiveness 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.

Duration and Location

Typically sessions last from 2 hours to 2 days, depending on the needs and objectives. The location of the training can either be in your offices or at an external location such as a hotel or conference centre.

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.
  • Participant complete a short questionnaire via email.


  • 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

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

Typical 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
  • Support in implementing assertive behaviour

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.”
Your Personality at Work
Personality impacts our assertiveness

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 are reactive rather than thought through. This means the secretaries need to respond to aggression which is understandable, but 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 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. they put too much pressure on themselves and as a result 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 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 one implemented there actions.
  • In every case the assertive behaviour created a positive response from their work colleague.
  • 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, whcih means putting ideas into action.
  • 3. The ideas we introduce are all very practical, based on our 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: