How we express our needs changes drastically between infancy and adulthood. As infants we are able to straightforwardly convey our pain, dissatisfaction, sadness, happiness, excitement, and other emotions we deem necessary to be shared and communicated. However somewhere along the course of our lives, we lose this human capacity and are prompted to settle, perhaps unwittingly, with incessant compromise, or worse, apathy.


Babies know what they want - and ALWAYS ask for it!
Babies know what they want – and ALWAYS ask for it!


Assertiveness skills is a subject that we cover on our Certificate in Conflict Management, just one of our management and leadership skills courses Manchester, Birmingham, Exeter, London, Newcastle and Glasgow.


Arguably, our assertiveness skills as infants or toddlers were sharper and more advanced compared to what remains in our adult years. So what exactly happened in between? The answer lies in our equally potent desire to belonging. As crucial as it is for us to express our wants, needs, emotions, and principles, we are just as governed by our desire to fit into the mold. This mold can come in many different guises, the most obvious being the culture within our families, social circles, or professional affiliations. These cultures are anchored to very specific codes of ethics, mores, or expectations in general, and at a certain point in our lives, some of us have succumbed to the fallacy that it is in our best interest to always take all established rules, standards, policies, and whatnot, without question and with utmost tolerance. Although faith, loyalty, and tolerance are admirable qualities, they are not always what makes a person worthy of the life he or she has been given. Assertiveness skills, in fact, separate those who are able to inspire positive change from those who dwindle along established mediocrity.


Assert yourself - shows strength
Assert yourself – shows strength


Assertiveness skills are the exact antitheses of passivity. Whereas the former are human qualities that seek to find ways to improve current standards or further elevate the qualities of the status quo, the latter succumbs in the present’s seeming lack of potential growth. Assertiveness skills are competencies that allow an individual to feel the essential restlessness that fuels innovation, creativity, and change. These skills should not be confused with aggressiveness, though. Assertiveness skills are driven by individuals’ awareness of their self worth, sans the need to abuse power and authority. Aggressiveness however is more concerned with getting one’s way for the purpose of establishing one’s assumed importance or entitlement. It is safe to infer that while aggressiveness is more or less rooted in a masked and unrecognised sense of insecurity, assertiveness skills are stimulated by a kind of confidence that is not only constructive, but moreover, inspiring and influential.


For individuals to find their true calling, and make a substantial impact in their chosen fields, it is not enough to know how to value, respect, and honor authority and culture. Just as crucial is for individuals to possess assertiveness skills which can guide them to consistently see what is fair, right, and important, and how best to foster change that is beneficial to all.


This article is simply an introduction. For a detailed strategy and to develop your skills, please enquire about our leadership and management skills courses London, Birmingham, Exeter, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow. Our participants, once equipped with assertiveness skills, know who they are, what they are about, and what they are capable of contributing to the betterment of the here and now. Most importantly, they are aware that they cannot do it alone. This combination of equal portions of self-esteem and esteem for others is the equation for success in any given industry, and in life in general.



Nicholas Hill
Nicholas Hill

Nicholas C. Hill is Managing Director and Principal Trainer for The Hill Consultancy Ltd, London, specialising in UK-wide public training courses in leadership and management development. Become a highly productive manager and influential leader today. Claim £100 off the list price on any two-day course. Promotional code: PASSION0213. Visit the website or call now to find out more or request a FREE consultation. T: 020 7993 9955 W:





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