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Course Detail

RD205 - Assertive Communication Skills for Researchers

Audience: All researchers (including staff and PhD students)

Assertiveness is a skill, not a personal characteristic – this means you can communicate more assertively with practice. Changing your own behaviour can have a positive effect on the way other people respond to you, and result in improved professional relationships. Building your assertiveness skills will empower you when you want to give voice to your ideas; negotiate with others; engage in a difficult conversation; diffuse a potential conflict, or offer your expertise. In this workshop we will distinguish between passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive behaviours. You will assess your responses to situations and people, focusing on a better balance and respect for your own needs, priorities and feelings, alongside those of others. The emphasis is on practical application, so you have the opportunity to experiment with different approaches. This workshop is a safe and confidential space for you to practice with a range of tools, and to adapt them to suit your situations and communication preferences.

Keywords: (non)assertive behaviours, negotiating, difficult conversations


By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify distinctions between assertive, passive, aggressive and passive-aggressive behaviours (includes some myth-busting)
  • Review your responses to a range of situations and identify what you want to change
  • Prioritise conversations or situations that are most important to you
  • Practice with a range of assertiveness techniques and adapt them to suit your needs and contexts
  • Turn your insights into small, achievable behaviour changes that you can implement straight away

Provided by: Researcher Development


Date: Wednesday 5 February 2020

Venue: Scape 3.01, Scape, Mile End

Time: 09:30 - 12:30


  • Dr S Robins-Hobden