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  • Are your conversations achieving what you want?
    Are your conversations achieving what you want?
  • Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
    Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
  • How are you coming across to your boss?
    How are you coming across to your boss?
  • Does your feedback help people change?
    Does your feedback help people change?
  • Do you frequently get into arguments?
    Do you frequently get into arguments?
  • Are you getting the best out of your people?
    Are you getting the best out of your people?

Might your need to learn how to avoid being submissive
be met by this management training course
called Skills with People?

Yes if you want be able to

  • be more assertive - but without being aggressive,
  • find the words that without getting you a reputation for being difficult will help you stop saying yes when you really want to say no,
  • stand up for what you think or want in a way that people will take seriously,
  • stand up to difficult people while treating them with respect, 
  • disagree in a way that is firm but won't get you a reputation for being difficult.

What you'll take away from this course on how to avoid being submissive

You'll be able to stand up to people successfully without being aggressive. You’ll be more assertive, which is a way of making people take you seriously without being either aggressive or submissive. Of course, being assertive calls for courage as well as skill, but we'll help you find the honest words you can use, and that will help you find the courage. 

Free exploratory coaching session

INTERESTED?

If so, you can have a FREE exploratory coaching session. It'll give you a foretaste of what you can get from the course. You make no commitment to proceed beyond this until you're sure this training is relevant to your own particular need.

How to accept this offer

Simply contact us for a preliminary chat and to arrange your free exploratory coaching session. 

What this session will do for you

In this session we'll aim to give you something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work. All you need do to prepare for this session is think about the kinds of situations you want to be able to handle more successfully.

FAQs

You'll find answers to many of your questions about the content and method of this course under FAQs (in the main menu above).

How the skills you'll practise on this course 
will enable you
to avoid being submissive

You'll be able to avoid being submissive when you've learned how to give honest voice to your own feelings, even if this isn't what you're in the habit of doing. On the course you'll get plenty of practice and coaching at saying things like:-

  • “I feel bad about not supporting you, and I mean you no disrespect, but I'm not at all comfortable with what you’re asking me to. I believe it risks damaging our relationship with this customer”.

Usually if you stand up to people in a frank and assertive but not disrespectful way they'll take you seriously. But let's suppose they don't. Suppose they say:-

  • “I don’t care how you feel – you're going to do what I want anyway”.

Once again we encourage you to trust you feelings and put them frankly into words:-

  • “Now I'm even more worried because you don't seem to be taking the risk to the business seriously”.

Of course this approach doesn't work every time, but nine times out of ten it brings them to their senses.

Points to notice about this way of avoiding being submissive

The key to it lies in being able to put your feelings into words. The words we'll teach you to use will be very precise and honest. They'll include three elements:-

  1. First, describe simply and accurately what feeling you are experiencing (e.g., "I feel bad", "I'm not at all comfortable").
  2. Second, say precisely what the feeling is about (e.g., "about not supporting you", "about what you're asking me to do").
  3. Third, give the reason why you feel like this, in other words, what really matters to you (e.g., "because I believe it'll damage our relationship with the customer", "because I can see we're taking a big risk if I do this").

Feelings are facts, and you're the world's top authority on the subject of how you feel. No one can contradict you. So one of the results and benefits of speaking in this way is that it makes argument extremely unlikely. You can speak like this with honest conviction and people will take you seriously. 

As you practise this approach to avoiding being submissive and to standing firm on your beliefs and convictions, your confidence and assertiveness will increase.

What's difficult about this way of avoiding being submissive?

The big difficulty most people encounter in being assertive and avoiding being submissive is that they're not used to putting their feelings into words. It's not that you can't do it, but that you've been brought up or conditioned to avoid doing it. You may have an unconscious fear of doing it. You may have carried with you all your life some wrong assumptions about the best way to handle feelings, for example, that expressing feelings is a sign of weakness, or that people will take advantage of you if you do. If so, the Skills with People course will develop your emotional intelligence, and help you lay aside old mental habits that are getting in the way.

What you'll discover on the course is that far from being a sign of weakness, your feelings are the source of your personal power, authority and integrity, that you are perfectly able to express them, and that when you do people will take you seriously. Once you've mastered this idea there'll be no more need to be submissive when what someone else wants you to do goes against what matters to you.

Yet more reasons why you might benefit from
this training in how to avoid being submissive

  • You'd love to be able to stand up to people instead of caving in.
  • There are times when you need to take a stand, but you don't know what words to use.
  • People have told you you should speak up more at meetings, but you find it very difficult.
  • You need to find a way to stop being submissive.
  • Sometimes you have very strong feelings about what's going on at work, but you don't think people will take any notice of your feelings.

Is there more information on this website
relevant to avoiding being submissive?

Yes. You might also find our pages on managing conflict and negotiating relevant and helpful.

We love helping you communicate successfully

By giving you communication skills that'll transform even your most challenging relationships and interactions.

That's the purpose of Skills with People, our training course for managers and professional people at all levels. Thousands have benefited from this course.

Video Introduction

What People Have Said About The Course

Learning & Development Coordinator - The Entertainer

I can't recommend this course enough. It has genuinely been the most impactful course I have ever completed. Understanding that I can be assertive w ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Kimberley-Clark marketing director

He is now aware of his need to control his direct approach. He was sometimes too assertive. I think he is now well balanced in this respect.

Read More...
Senior Engineer, Qualcomm

An unbelievable experience, highly motivating training and one of the few which stays forever in your mind. A tangible impact to your life and workin ...

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Leisure Centre Manager

The most useful part of the course was learning how to convey my disappointment with a member of staff without demotivating them, without making them ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Prudential director

He is a lot more confident. At the last meeting of our business unit leaders he fully led the meeting and dealt with people very well.

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Feedback from participant's boss - Chairman of White Clarke Group

He has greatly improved his ability to manage a situation. He listens more and uses that information to convince. A good example is the .... group, wh ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson Matthey Catalysts (Germany) senior manager

There has been a noticeable improvement in the performance of this customer service engineer. He is much more succinct now than he was before. He was ...

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Project Quality Engineer (self funding)

A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listen with empathy" / "speak assertively". Defin ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a WS Atkins director

Now he actively listens, probes, asks for clarifications and does not assume anymore he knows the answer.

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Sports Centre Manager

I feel that my relationship with other attendees has improved massively following the session. I'd say 9/10 for what I've got from the course as I sa ...

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Fundraising Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

A very intimate training which will make anyone reflect on how best to engage with colleagues when confronted with difficult situations.

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EHS advisor (environmental health and safety), Johnson Matthey

This is the best non-techincal course the company has ever put me on because it's the most useful. 

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Glaxo SmithKline research director

He has made good progress in two areas: 1. team leadership - he listens with empathy to others well and considers their standpoint as well as his own. ...

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The wife of a participant

"Just thinking about last night’s conversation and it’s bringing tears to my eyes – it’s what I’ve always wanted: to be able to talk with you like tha ...

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Workshop Manager, Professional Plant Services

I now find it easier to have awkward conversations. (As a result of how he has changed several more people from his company are asking to attend the c ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - head of projects in Heinz

He now gains support through his willingness to involve people more and take them with him.

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Thank you from a participant

I wanted to let you know that I have secured a new role.  I had to go through an assessment centre and one challenge was to negotiate with a 'belliger ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Merck Sharp & Dohme medical director

She feels more confident in tackling people and has been impressed with her new found techniques, e.g., in dealing with members of the marketing depar ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - A Philips Semiconductors director

To what extend do I think his training need has been satisfied? Completely. I have been approached by 4 peers to tell me that they could see a very po ...

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Senior Resource Consultant, Shell International

“Skills with People” has helped me deal with conflict situations.  It has helped me to diffuse tension in meetings and convert pushback into alignment ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Billiton director

He's obviously making a positive effort and it does show. People used to be scared of him. No longer.

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson marketing director

She has become increasingly aware and focussed on ensuring she is gaining cooperation from colleagues by the way she approaches situations. E.g., Meet ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson finance director

He has made excellent progress in the management of his team. He has ensured key stakeholders are involved in decision-making and has gone to great le ...

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Theatre Manager

Managing to confront them but still maintain their cooperation and support. Previously I was either not confronting or confronting and ending up with ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Shell International senior manager

He is showing far more self-awareness and more restraint in potentially confrontational situations. He is far more aware of the impact his actions and ...

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Golf Club Manager

Ten out of ten for the course for me personally. I think I would have resigned if it hadn't been for the course.

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National Training Index* report on the course

"From delegates reports we have identified Skills with People is a 'highspot' among UK business courses. Delegates mentioned as most helpful the enha ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - an HSBC investment director

I have had three unprompted comments from different team members and colleagues who have been surprised at the consideration he has shown in helping s ...

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Examples of Training Needs Met

Difficulty communicating with non-technical people Read More...
Allowed his meetings to get out of hand Read More...
Preparing for a more challenging role Read More...
Being more assertive would help career go better Read More...
Very logical but not creating enough rapport Read More...
Well intentioned but demoralising his team Read More...
Technically very sound but lacking persuasive skills Read More...
Had a positive attitude but gave a negative impression Read More...
Enormous enthusiasm but little sensitivity Read More...
Forceful communicator who created friction Read More...
Flying high but creating a tense atmosphere Read More...
Not delegating or developing others Read More...
Respected specialist who was too quiet at meetings Read More...
Lots of energy and ideas but little attention for his clients Read More...
Very diligent but hated dealing with difficult people Read More...

Need To Know The Quick Facts?