Assertiveness and Persuasion

Assertiveness and
What comes to mind when
someone says you are:
 Assertive
 Persuasive
 Aggressive
 Passive
 Manipulative
 Controlling
Personal Assessment
 Do
you already know your level of
assertiveness, persuasiveness?
If asked to give a speech to a large group do
you cringe in horror and decline the invitation?
When another person is hostile towards you
do you automatically become defensive?
Do most people know you by name?
Do you make efforts to engage others in
Do you ask people questions?
Never forget:
 In
many cases, it is how you say it, not
what you say that matters most in
interpersonal communication. So, be
especially aware of your non-verbals when
it comes to assertiveness and persuasion.
Persuasion v. Coercion
I am going to pick
you up and throw
you off the roof.
I am going to convince
you that you want to
jump off the roof.
 Related
to perceptions of credibility
Personal dynamism
 How
could being more “persuasive” assist
a pharmacist in patient care, or you in
dealing with others?
 Caution: Persuasive not pushy….
How can we be more persuasive
with patients and others without
being aggressive?
Find common ground
• We both want you to get better as soon as possible…
• We both want you to get completely better, so, you need to
finish all this antibiotic…
Be honest about your intentions
• I need to call your doctor to verify this prescription…
• I can’t read the strength….(not)
Be personally credible, admit when you don’t
know something
• I’m not familiar with the use of nystatin for mental alertness…
How can we be more persuasive
with patients and others without
being aggressive?
patient – i.e., reinforce your messages
over time
 Be
• Now, next time I see you we’ll talk about ways to
help you quit smoking…..
 Soften
your appeals
• You need to stop smoking. Everyone knows its
bad for you. (not)
• I think you might see some improvement in the
way you feel if you could find a way to quit…..
 Save
your most important point for last.
 What
happens to people who are not
 What are some of the characteristics of
people who are more assertive?
Assertiveness Skills
 Confrontation
Let the person know they are being
aggressive and you do not like it.
State how you feel about the behavior and
what the results of the behavior will be.
• When you arrive late for your shift, I feel angry
because it makes me late to pick my daughter up
from the sitter.
• I would appreciate it if you would call when you are
running late, so that I can try to make other
arrangements for my daughter.
Assertiveness Skills
 Saying
When people make requests that are not
reasonable, just say no.
Set your personal limits
• Personally and professionally
• Moral, ethical, preferences, legal, etc.
Because your doctor is not available right
now, I can not refill your prescription. I must
speak with her first. I can give you two tables
Assertiveness Skills
 Making
Key Point:
• Do not be afraid to ask for what you want.
• I want you to make an appointment to see your
doctor about your knee pain. The symptoms you
have described are serious enough that they need
to be assessed before we try to treat this with over
the counter medications…
• If you can speak to me with out being disrespectful
we can continue this conversation.
Assertiveness Skills
 Expressing
your opinion
Being expressive lets people know where you
It can demonstrate credibility – making you
more persuasive
• Doctor, I believe a short acting benzodiazepine
would be more appropriate in this patient due to
their age.
Assertiveness Skills
 Initiating
Be a starter, seek opportunities to engage
• Avoid being abrupt or pushy
• Hello, I’m the pharmacist, Mary, and I noticed you
looking at the cough medications, can I help you
select one?
Assertiveness Skills
 Being
more self disclosing
Very personal issue
• Sometimes, when you reveal personal information
it can present the image of being more assertive –
showing your confidence.
• Sometimes, people will be thinking, “a little too
much information”
• Find the balance….use your rapport to know your
I take a blood pressure medication very similar to this
and I have not had any negative side effects….
4 Magic Phrases
 These
can be used to shut down difficult,
annoying or threatening communication –
within limits:
 Start with: That’s interesting…
Tell me more.
Why would you say that?
Why would you do that?
Why would you ask that?
Dr. Smith, this is Susan Stone, the
pharmacist at Village Pharmacy. I’m
really sorry to bother you. I know you
are very busy. I could call back later if
you want. But, I wanted to ask you
about Mrs. Smiths prescription for
Dr. Smith, this is Susan Stone, the
pharmacist at Village Pharmacy. I’m
calling to verify the dose on Mrs.
Smiths prescription for Prozac.