Building assertiveness, part two

This page includes tips to make yourself more assertive in the workplace and a self-study module which covers the fundamentals of building assertiveness. This is the second module in a two-part series.

Not everybody is naturally assertive.

Often people are not confident enough to assert themselves in the workplace. Being assertive means expressing yourself effectively and standing up for your (or another’s) point of view, without being aggressive or inconsiderate to others. As a responsible pharmacist it is important to become accustomed to taking the lead and have the confidence to instruct team members about good working practices.

These include:-

  • verbal and non-verbal communication
  • listening skills
  • negotiation
  • problem-solving and decision-making
  • and most importantly, assertiveness.
This is the second part of our building assertiveness self-learning modules.
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Speaking up
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Assertiveness Continued
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Before you begin.
Before you begin, remember to:

• Be honest and open with yourself
• Treat yourself with kindness and respect
• Be present
• Enjoy!

Recap: What is assertiveness?

• Being direct, clear, open and honest about your needs
• Ensuring everyone’s wants and needs have been considered
• Clearly and calmly standing up for yourself
• Agreeing compromise.

Recap assertiveness with our self-study module.

Three behaviour types
There are three main behaviour types, each with underlying beliefs.

• Aggressive – “No one has needs but me”
• Passive – “My needs don’t matter
• Assertive – “Your needs are equal to mine”.


An aggressive person might:
• Interrupt or talk over others
• Place their own values higher than others
• React with anger
• Say what they want without thinking about others.

Can you think of somebody you know who acts like this?


A passive person might:
• Agree with others automatically
• Place their own values less than others
• React with silence
• Avoid eye contact
• Avoid conflict.

Can you think of somebody you know who acts like this?


An assertive person will:
• Respect other people’s rights
• Empathise with other people’s feelings
• Remain calm and controlled
• Compromise
• Stand up for themselves
• Be honest and direct.

Can you think of somebody you know who acts like this?

Assertiveness task.
Think of a scenario which would require an assertive response from you and answer the questions below.

• What would you say?
• How would you say it?
• How would you behave?
• What is the likely outcome?

personality types pt.2
Come back to this module so you can learn to recognise the behaviour profiles in others. Knowing how to respond will put you in control.
Think of someone being assertive.
Take a moment to think of a situation where you saw somebody be assertive.

• What were their strengths?
• Did they take any risks?
• Did they learn from a mistake?
• How were they aware of their attitude and behaviour?

Learn to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Learn to understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Take a minute to think and write down three of your strengths and three of your weaknesses. Keep them in mind to build on the strengths and be mindful of areas for improvement.

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses may help you to push yourself and take risks. When something goes well it will empower you and make you aware you can do it again.
Behaviour can become a circular pattern.
Behaviour can become a circular pattern and with a positive or negative outcome.

When we are feeling motivated and positive, we smile and give compliments which boost and empower those around us. When we are feeling negative, we behave with impatience or anger. People around us will reflect those negative behaviours back, and then there is potential for conflict to continue.
Learn more about positive thinking.

The next time you're in a negative mood...
The next time you're in a negative mood, stop what you're doing. Take a few minutes to assess why you're feeling negative. Consciously decide to break out of the cycle by focusing on something positive.
Press the reset button.
If a colleague is stuck in a negative cycle, explore the cause of that negativity with them, see if you can ‘press the reset button’, and be pleasant to one another.
Brought to you by Pharmacist Support
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