There are three non-assertive styles of communicating – these are “aggressive”, “passive”, and “manipulative” (or what is sometimes called “passive aggressive”). Each can occasionally be effective, but they are usually characterized by dishonesty, bad feelings, time-wasting, and conflict creation. Only the assertive style leads to honest, effective and problem-solving communication.
It is a rarity for one person to be 100% assertive, (or 100% aggressive, or passive, or manipulative for that matter). All of us tend to use a mixture of all four styles. Indeed, we may be passive in one set of circumstances, dealing with certain people, aggressive in a second setting, assertive in a third, and manipulative in a fourth.
For example, a person may be passive in one setting, and may be the object of bullying from aggressive types. Such a person may resent such bullying, but not be assertive enough to retaliate against such behavior, or neutralize it. Such a person may then release his/her frustration by becoming aggressive towards others, less threatening people (children, relatives, subordinates) in other settings. Again, passives may be passive for a long time in the face of aggression from others, and then one day, just snap. When the worm turns, aggressives might get more than they bargained for from the former passives. Although this is just one example, it is illustrative of why we all need to use assertive communication as much as we can (or most of the time) and to develop our skills to be able to do this.
An Assertiveness PowerPoint (or ppt) led workshop can help many people to better appreciate how to be more assertive in general and to practice these communication skills in the safe climate of a training room. In this case, this Assertiveness skills PPT is also fully scripted with trainer notes, allowing full explanations of points to be given by a workshop leader or facilitator (whether or not they are a professional trainer) and even includes a range of discussion exercises and paired or group activities to allow participants to practice specific skills as they are described or shared.