50 Activities for Managing Stress
278
Method
1. Direct participants to do the following:
Identify those areas at work where you have to make requests
of others.
Specify the situations in which you are comfortable and assertive.
Now describe those situations in which you are abrupt, aggres-
sive, submissive, and anxious.
Which people are involved in each situation?
2. Ask participants “What is it you are actually doing (your behav-
ior) that makes one situation work for you and others not?”
Distribute Handout 44.1 and have participants use the Guide to
Assertive Management Style—Making Requests to answer this
question.
3. Distribute Handout 44.2 and have participants use the People and
Situations Inventory to make a commitment to change their
behavior to a more assertive style.
Summary
Review your decisions and what you have discovered in this
activity. Put a more assertive style of making requests into prac-
tice—with specific situations and particular people. Summarize
your progress and carry on practicing and reviewing your new
assertive style when making requests.
Handout 44.1
Reproduced from 50 Activities for Managing Stress. Roy Bailey, HRD Press, Inc., 1992, 2008
Guide to Assertive Management Style—
Making Requests
What we believe about people and situations determines how effective we
are. If we believe we will get nowhere with requests or that we request
things in such a way that causes us stress and resentment in others, we are
storing up stress problems for ourselves. We cut down our influence. We
create a “rod for our own back.” Complete this guide to assertive man-
agement and decide what behavior you will change to manage stress more
assertively. We have beliefs that inhibit assertiveness and beliefs that
promote assertiveness. Where do you stand?
Beliefs that inhibit assertive behavior when making requests:
True
ofMe
NotTrue
ofMe
1. It is unfair to state exactly what I want.
2. Others are too busy to listen to what I have to say.
3. I have no right to ask.
4. Others do not have the right to refuse me.
5. If others refuse my requests, it means they don’t
like or respect me.
6. Others should be pleased to help me out.
7. My priorities are more important than the
priorities of others.
8. It is a sign of weakness to ask directly for things.
9. My needs are not as important as the needs of
others.
10. It is imposing to make requests of others.
Handout 44.1 (concluded)
Reproduced from 50 Activities for Managing Stress. Roy Bailey, HRD Press, Inc., 1992, 2008
Beliefs that promote assertive behavior when making requests:
True
ofMe
NotTrue
ofMe
1. Be direct when making a request.
2. Don’t “horse trade.”
3. Don’t apologize for asking directly.
4. Keep requests short and to the point.
5. Don’t take refusals personally.
6. Don’t play on personal friendships.
7. Don’t justify yourself.
8. Respect the other person’s right to say “no.”
9. Don’t use flattery and try to cheap-sell your
request.
10. Use flattery only if it will help give a reason for
your request, providing it is genuine.
Handout 44.2
Reproduced from 50 Activities for Managing Stress. Roy Bailey, HRD Press, Inc., 1992, 2008
People and Situations Inventory
I will be more assertive with ____________________________________
(person’s name/job title)
This is the situation and how I make requests with this person now (be
specific and describe your actual behavior):
These are the changes I will make in my behavior and how I will make
requests in this situation and with this person in the future (remember to
be specific and describe the way you will actually behave):
Review/Summary
Don’t forget to review your progress in making requests more assertively.
Set a regular date. Also summarize each time you review and get an over-
all picture of how well you are doing. Points to look for are how much
more influence you have, how much less stress, and how much more con-
fidence in making requests of others.

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