Assertiveness: Use these sample phrases to craft meaningful performance evaluations, drive change and motivate your workforce.

Assertiveness is the inclination to stand up for your rights or other people's rights in a calm and concrete way without being aggressive or accepting a wrong.

Assertiveness: Exceeds Expectations Phrases

  • Identifies self needs and wants, and asks for them to be satisfied
  • Understands that self rights, feelings, thoughts, and needs are just as important as everyone else's and feels free to express them
  • Expresses negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a healthy and positive manner
  • Receives feedback positively and is always ready to disagree without getting defensive or angry
  • Learns to say "no" when there is need to do so, and goes with what is right
  • Uses assertive body posture as part of strengthening self position when delivering a point home
  • Decides on wording; thinks through not only about what to say, but how to say it
  • Asks questions in order to understand all that is required to complete a certain project or task
  • Regularly expresses appreciation of others for what they have done or are doing
  • Refrains from criticizing and judging others' ideas in a way that shows insensitivity

Assertiveness: Meets Expectations Phrases

  • Finds ways to get self needs met without sacrificing others' needs in the process
  • Allows oneself to be angry but still remains respectful to colleagues and clients
  • Says what's on one self's mind, but does it in a way that protects the other person's feelings
  • Allows oneself to make mistakes, asks for help and accepts criticism and compliments positively
  • Shows appreciation of other people's contribution by using verbal and nonverbal communication skills such as nodding, maintaining good eye contact and smiling
  • Shows interest in what someone else has to say through appropriate questioning, clarification, reflecting and summarizing skills
  • Always clear and direct to the point when answering a question; never leaves a questioner with a half-baked answer
  • Listens when critics get their points out in order to get more prepared for an open exchange
  • Delivers criticism in a way that demonstrates sensitivity to the feelings of other colleagues
  • Holds back, listens and waits for the other person to finish an intended message before giving a response

Assertiveness: Needs Improvement Phrases

  • Feels uncomfortable when telling a colleague or friend that they are doing something wrong
  • Does not feel free to express wishes, thoughts, and feelings and to encourage others to do likewise
  • Finds it hard to initiate and maintain comfortable relationships with colleagues at work
  • Does not have control over anger or the ability to talk about it in a reasonable manner
  • Rarely shows a willingness to compromise with others. Always want things done self's way
  • Discourages other employees from openly voicing their views, ideas, and feelings
  • Whines or shies away from asking people's opinion and drawing them into open group discussions
  • Lacks good listening skills. Responds quickly without listening carefully to what the other person has to say, thus missing important details
  • Always takes responsibility for decisions that should be made jointly instead of supporting others to make their contribution to the discussion
  • Focuses on the disagreements, rather than trying to find areas of agreement with the other person

Assertiveness: Self Evaluation Questions

  • Can you think of a situation where you felt you had not communicated well? How did you correct the situation?
  • Is there a time you had to effectively "read" another person in order to guide your actions based on your understanding of their individual needs?
  • Can you describe a situation where you were able to strengthen a relation with a colleague by using effective communication?
  • Is there a time you had to speak up in order to be sure that other people knew what felt or thought?
  • Have you ever used verbal communication to get a point across that was important to you?
  • How good are your listening skills? Do you have instances when you made mistakes because you did not listen well to what someone had to say?
  • How often do you encourage your colleagues to get into groups in order to make decisions that should be made jointly?
  • If a colleague was facing a clash of personalities, what steps would you take to make the working relationship run smoothly?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you were motivated to question your employer's decision?
  • Can you think of an occasion when you have had to motivate and boost the morale of your colleagues?

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