Changing our non-assertive ways

Do you know that you have the power to change yourself? “We often think that we are who we are and that is it,” says Rachel Johnson, owner of Palomino Training Solutions. “However, through self-understanding and deliberate action we are able to change our behaviour in order to be more successful.”

Perhaps sometimes you act in a passive way when someone bullies you into believing their point of view or forces you to do something you would rather not. Maybe you are more aggressive and see red whenever someone steps out of line. Neither of these behaviours bring us success and happiness in life. A more useful behaviour to practise would be assertiveness. But how do we change our reactions to situations when our behaviour is now a habit formed from many years of experience, repetition and observation?

It’s simple but takes practise. “When we behave in a passive or aggressive manner, we have irrational beliefs floating through our minds,” says Johnson. “In order to change our behaviour, we need to identify these irrational beliefs and purposefully change them to something more assertive.” For example, a passive person might believe that if they express their opinion, people will get upset with them. However, believing that their opinion matters and people will appreciate it, even learn from it, changes this belief to a more assertive and helpful one.

Another example is an aggressive boss believing that they must be strong and in charge at all times. Perhaps a more assertive approach would be to believe that a good leader involves others, listens to them and tries to understand situations clearly.

In order to more assertive, we must identify and question these self-limiting beliefs that prevent us from being assertive and change them accordingly.

If you would like to learn more about assertiveness skills, join us at our upcoming 2019 public courses. They will be held on 3 October, 4 November or 4 December in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban and the cost is R2,295 ex vat per delegate. This one-day interactive course includes modules on: increasing self-esteem; the four communication styles; the ladder of inference; and much more.

This course is also available as an onsite option at your work premises throughout SA (contact us for the very competitive prices) and also as an online (e-learning) option.

“Our aim is for delegates to leave our workshops feeling inspired and motivated, with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on tools that they are able to implement immediately,” says Johnson.
Palomino Training Solutions, which was established in 2006, offers over 150 training courses ranging from telephone etiquette, public speaking and business writing to conflict resolution, recruitment & selection and supervisory skills.

For more information, contact Rachel Johnson on 082-878-1164, email [email protected] or visit