How to Use This Workbook
How This Workbook Is Organized
This workbook comes in eight chapters. Each chapter covers its own topic though one chapter builds on previous ones. Before attending the Assertive Communication Skill Workshop, it is important that you read from here (page 13) through the feedback chapter ending on page 157. The rest of the workbook provides additional (optional) helps, information, and a list of other resources. Do be sure, however, to use the Feeling Word List on page 171 of the workbook. You may find it helpful to refer frequently to this resource.
The “Background Understanding” portion of this workbook, starting on page 19, explains what goes on in people as they interact with life, themselves, and other people. This understanding forms the foundation for effective communication skills.
Just as a person never stops eating, sleeping, exercising, and learning, there is always room for more personal growth. We never “arrive” though we can come to being able to live life peacefully and productively, both giving and receiving. Certainly one of the fundamental life skills is being able to communicate in ways that not only speak truth but draw people closer together in security and love; teaching those skills is the purpose of this course.
How can you become an assertive communicator?
- Study this communication skills
- Apply the principles until they become a part of
- Repetition and practice is the key to
- Develop good, strong self-management habits that allow you to monitor your practicing of the skills.
- Use all the worksheets provided to help your practicing efforts.
- Take advantage of the many advanced communication courses we offer at communication-empowerment.com
Different Venues For This Course
This course can be used in a variety of venues. It can be used as a self improvement course or be used in conjunction with a teleseminar or webinare, as some people term it. It can also be used in small groups such as a recovery support group or a teambuilding group. The course materials and content are designed to be flexible and will work in any venue you choose.
Follow this plan, and you’ll improve the way you communicate dramatically with others.
The Course Itself
The material that will be covered in the course itself starts on page 49 and goes through page 157.
More Information: The Self, Communication, and Recovery
Optional additional reading starts on page 159 and continues through the end of the workbook. These sections give more direction about using assertive communication as well as other recovery and emotional-healing suggestions and resources.
How to Prepare for a Workshop
The following must be completed before attending the workshop:
D Complete all surveys accompanying the workshop and turn them in at least one week ahead of time, according to the workshop sponsor’s instructions. By doing so, the results will be ready for you at the time of the workshop.
D read the workbook through page 158. The appendix starts on page 159.
D Complete the charting exercises and worksheets scattered throughout the workbook. (The “Personal Commitment to Workshop Participation” on page 58 is the only page we ask you to share with the group. Any other answers you write on the worksheets in this workbook will remain confidential. At the workshop, you will have the opportunity to share as much or as little about them as you wish.)
Using This Book with a Small Group
Go through the workbook together with friends. If you’re going to be apart of an ongoing group or teleseminar, you’ll want each group member to sign the Support Group Commitment on page 167. You must have an emotionally safe environment to practice in. And do realize that communication, as well as other people skills, are “more caught than taught.” In other words, allow yourself to make mistakes, and remember that practicing the skills is the key.
Beyond Effective Communication Skills
Consider attending our Advanced Team Building / Facilitator Training Workshop. This training moves the skill levels beyond the individual level to that of interacting with and leading groups. These team building and group dynamic skills apply to workplaces, homes, and any other places where people are trying to live and work together with shared goals and resources. For more information and workshop dates, see our Web site at www.communication-empowerment.com.
How Can Effective Communication Skills Help Me?
In a conversational situation, there are actually eight kinds of communication going on all at once:
- What I mean to say
- What I actually say
- What the other person hears
- What the other person thought they heard
- What the other person means to say
- What the other person actually says
- What I hear the person say
- What I think I heard the other person say
It’s no wonder communication can be so confusing!
How can I take control of my life in such a way that things don’t “drive me crazy.” I may not be able to change all the circumstances (or the people!). But with effective communication skills, I can do the following:
./ Be in control of myself
./ Stop “them” from controlling me
./ Make positive changes
./ Strongly influence other people and my circumstances
./ Find behaviors that help me feel safe, happy, and purposeful
Having a relationship with other people is one of the most important and wonderful things in this life and also one of the most difficult. If I don’t know how to communicate in ways that really work, it is like trying to talk with someone who speaks a different language. We may both be good people, but a deep friendship just isn’t going to happen, and what about the people that you do understand all too well. They may seem to be always giving you advice and not giving you any space to be yourself. Assertive communication can help you establish your right to have your own opinion, space, and life in a way that is respectful to yourself and to the other person. You may even find out that they really do or don’t care about you and just didn’t know how to show it!