Effective Communication & Assertiveness


1 day

Programme Overview:

Effective communication is all about choosing the right style to suit the situation, and ensuring the content of the message that is to be delivered is received and understood by all concerned. It is a great temptation to believe that because the message makes sense to you, that it will be clear to everyone else. This course provides tools, techniques and practice for all those who would benefit from developing their communication and interpersonal skills. It will enable them to appreciate and understand differences, and to develop and manage more effective relationships with the wide range of people they interact with – team members and senior stakeholders alike.

The programme will be highly practical, and will ensure that the team has the opportunity to discuss the content, and plan how to apply what they learn to their business environment

Course Objectives and Skills Gained

This course will enable delegates to:

  • Appreciate what actually happens when we communicate, and the importance of making sure that the message has been received as we intend

  • Appreciate their own natural communication style, and the impact this can have on others.

  • Be able to communicate and influence more effectively by adapting their message to suit the individual and the situation

  • Appear and sound confident when communicating

  • Identify the difference between aggressive, assertive and non-assertive characteristics

  • Create change in an unwanted behaviour pattern

  • Be aware of the importance of body language, and understand these non-verbal signals

  • Understand the use of language patterns and how the impact they have on any communication.

  • Build rapport quickly and easily in a variety of situations

  • Create appropriate impact when communicating in a variety of media

  • Ask appropriate questions to ensure greater understanding within a conversation.

  • Truly appreciate the effort required to accurately listen.

  • Prepare an action plan as to what they are going to do differently as a result of this programme

Course Content:

Communication – The Basics

Practical exercise to illustrate the many different styles of communication.

What frustrates us about the way some people communicate? What actually happens when we communicate?

Non-verbal Communication Reminder: This session explores the dangers in trying to read body language and how easy it is to misinterpret the signals.

Once this has been completed the delegates will be shown how body language can be used, leaving assumptions to one side, to create a rapport with others and thus enhance the ease of communication.

Telephone Reminder

There are three aspects of using the voice to communicate: identifying how other people use their voice, conveying messages to generate interest and creating rapport using just the voice. Discussions and mini-exercises demonstrate how to apply the rapport building guidelines to a telephone conversation and its relevance to virtual teams


This session will focus on defining the differences between assertive, aggressive and non-assertive behaviours. Delegates complete a questionnaire which provides them an indication of which of the 3 states they use most often. These states are then linked to the work of Thomas Harris (I’m OK – You’re OK) and the group discuss how and when they use these different states.

The group are then shown the “evolution of personal rights” model, which will describe why they behave the way they do and how they can make a change to specific behaviours if they want to, particularly regarding assertiveness. The session concludes with a guide on how to escalate the level of assertion when someone is not delivering on commitments that they had made.


The rapport building model is applied to the often troublesome issue of influencing via e-mail. Delegates explore developing sensory acuity for the written word and using behavioural flexibility to maximise the opportunity to influence others. A simple but effective model is also discussed which demonstrates how to improve clarity within an email and reduce email traffic.

Questioning and Listening

Through a group exercise the delegates experience just how difficult it can be to listen accurately, with practical hints and tips to improve their skills. To tie in with this, the meta-model is used to show the group how to identify the surface structure within a communication and the appropriate questions to ask to discover the deeper meaning. This has applications for conflict management, coaching and problem solving.

Tailoring the message to the audience

How to identify word patterns and use appropriately to make any message more appealing to the reader.

Action plan and close

Time for participants to reflect on the course content, and plan what they are going to do differently as a result.

Programme Logistics

  • Maximum of 8 delegates

  • 1 Trainer for the day

  • 9am to 5pm for the day

  • Training room large enough to accommodate a “U” shape table and plenty of room to present

  • 2 x flipcharts & paper; projector & screen