Tales from the Advanced Diploma - Assertiveness and Communication Skills

Apr 22, 2016

Our Advanced Diploma students are required to keep a journal, throughout the year of the course, which they then draw upon to write their Self-Assessments. Here are some examples of some of their experiences and reflections. 

MODULE 1: Assertiveness and Communication Skills

This module was for me one of the most important modules, because communication of clear non-ambiguous thoughts and ideas to another individual is vital in order to get responses from others to the “actual” messages that I am articulating. Although I believed that I was an assertive person in my communications, I have discovered that I sometimes come across unintentionally as either ambiguous or as aggressive. I learned to start to become aware of my tone of voice and my body language, both of which must be congruent with my intentions when I speak. That is absolutely necessary to achieve assertiveness.

During the module when we practiced behaving and talking in different ways, I found it most difficult to imitate or understand a “passive aggressive” type of communicator That was a good lesson for me, to be able to become better at hearing and seeing when someone is being passive aggressive.  I learned that assertiveness is about respecting oneself as well as respecting others also. A useful technique we learned was to make a core statement and simply keep repeating it like a broken record.

Another key ingredient to becoming more assertive in communication is to become a better listener. This is a lesson that I will continue to work on.  I do listen, but still tend to sometimes “complete the other person’s sentence”.  I mistakenly thought I was showing interest by interjecting here and there and being an “active” listener. To the contrary, I now see that this can be disruptive to another person’s thought processes (like an unintentional “pattern interrupt” in NLP terms), and I am learning to recognize when I do this, so that I can stop myself.

A few more good lessons in this module were about learning how to give and receive both positive and negative criticism and also how to deal with anger effectively.  Within my family, as a mother and spouse, I have to deal with these on a regular basis.  Giving and receiving negative criticism is uncomfortable for most people and is therefore often avoided. The downside of avoiding “constructive” negative criticism is that it cheats people in your relationships or work from having important information that may be vital to making positive changes.

Learning how to handle and diffuse anger is a useful skill to have when dealing both with personal relationships and with upset/angry or oversensitive clients. This must be done usually in a very subtle manner that is non-confrontational. First, I would acknowledge that I can see the other person is very angry, then subtly “mirror” them, and gradually pace them to a slower, calmer breathing rate, until they manage to calm down a little. From there I can try to understand, by listening first to what is going on, and then respond respectfully and assertively as appropriate.

Learn More

Our International Advanced Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy & Counselling is designed to further develop your counselling skills. The Dubai based course covers a range of skills and competencies, including:

Satir Family therapy


Active Hypnobirthing & Pain Management

Advanced Breathing Therapy 

Assertiveness & Communication Skills

Emotional Intelligence

To truly become an expert, with the specialist knowledge and tools you need, contact us now to discuss enrolling. Please feel free to contact us should you have any further questions about the course too.

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