Although assertiveness comes naturally to some people, for many this is a skill that needs to be learned. When corporate assertiveness training is executed correctly an organisation stands to benefit in a number of ways.

Here are some of the reasons why:

Striking the right balance between being aggressive and passive - It’s sometimes mistakenly assumed that this training is all about helping people who are too passive and are unable to stand up for themselves. While this is certainly a major component of assertiveness development programmes, there is another important side to these courses. They examine the differences between assertiveness and aggression. This distinction is extremely important. When a person is assertive, they get their points across without upsetting or offending their colleagues or becoming agitated themselves. They also take other people’s views into account and respect their feelings. In contrast, when people are aggressive, they disregard the rights, desires and needs of others and try to exercise power in a selfish way. By helping people to strike the right balance between being aggressive and passive, assertiveness courses promote harmony in the workplace.

Lowering stress and raising morale - When people struggle to stand up for themselves effectively, they are more likely to suffer from stress and anxiety. For example, if they struggle to say no to unreasonable requests from colleagues or managers, they can quickly find themselves under unsustainable levels of pressure. Ultimately, this makes them unhappy in their role. By equipping people to protect their interests, assertiveness training keeps stress levels among employees under control and, as a result, improves morale.

Reducing workplace tensions - These courses reduce levels of tension in the workplace. By helping people to express their opinions in a forthright but non-aggressive way, the training programmes significantly reduce levels of conflict between colleagues. They also make it less likely that people will harbour resentment towards their co-workers because they feel they are not being listened to or given the respect or treatment they deserve.

Providing people with a realistic self-image - In many cases, a lack of assertiveness stems from having too little self-confidence. Conversely, overly aggressive behaviour can be a consequence of people seeing themselves as inherently better than those around them. By encouraging people to adopt a realistic self-image that means they see themselves as of equal value to others, assertiveness training aims to strike a balance between these extremes. It fosters a positive sense of self-worth while emphasizing the importance of respecting the thoughts and input of others.

Making managers more effective - Being assertive helps to make people more effective managers too. Leaders who have this quality tend to be able to get things done while treating their teams with respect and fairness. They also encourage these attributes in those around them. Often, people who exhibit these traits as managers are well-liked within a business and are leaders that others want to work with.

Enabling people to become better problem solvers - Assertiveness courses play an important role in making people better problem solvers. When workers feel empowered to take more control over their tasks, they often find it easier to identify the best solutions to the challenges they face in their roles. Similarly, an assertive communication style makes people more effective negotiators, helping them to agree on ‘win-win’ solutions by finding common ground with others.