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  • Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
    Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
  • 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 your conversations achieving what you want?
    Are your conversations achieving what you want?
  • Are you getting the best out of your people?
    Are you getting the best out of your people?
  • How are you coming across to your boss?
    How are you coming across to your boss?

Might your need to be more demanding or forceful
be met through London based management training course
called Skills with People?

Yes if any of the following are true for you

  • I feel uncomfortable making demands on people because it feels as though I'm antagonising them, and I'm worried they'll react negatively to my demands.
  • So I try to soften the demand in order to make it more acceptable. But the trouble is this makes it easy for people to ignore what I want.
  • Sometimes it feels as though I'm actually pleading with them instead of demanding.
  • It's part of my job to set high standards and make sure people meet them, but I find this a challenge.
  • It would be great if I could learn how to be totally firm with people without antagonising them. 

What you'll take away from this course

You'll be more demanding or forceful when people are reluctant to do what you want, but without being aggressive. You'll be able to be truly assertive. Normally being assertive is a simple and effective way of being firm with people without antagonising them. But as well as this you'll have the additional power of the assertive ratchet.

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 be much more demanding or forceful
when you have to

There's a powerful method of being demanding and forceful without antagonising people. We call it the assertive ratchet, and it's one of the things you'll learn on this course.

The assertive ratchet is a way of being increasingly assertive without being aggressive when someone seems to be refusing to do what you want. It's a courteous way of standing your ground and being increasingly demanding and forceful when the need arises.

A ratchet is an instrument you can tighten up notch by notch if necessary in order to prevent what you are gripping from slipping out of your grip. Assertiveness can be used like a ratchet if at first you don't succeed in getting the other person to do what you want.

Example

The example involves Anita. She's talking to an unwilling colleague. Put yourself in his shoes and try to imagine her effect on him each time she uses the ratchet:-

ANITA:  Paul, you remember those figures I asked you for? Are they ready for me yet?

PAUL:  What figures? No, I'm far too busy. They'll have to wait.

  • This is the moment for her to be assertive, by putting how she feels into words and explaining succinctly why she feels this way

ANITA:  That’s worrying. If I don't get them in the next two days I’ll miss the customer’s deadline.

An honest, clear and assertive response like this is usually very effective. Nine times out of ten the person who receives it will find it very hard to resist. But to illustrate how the ratchet works let's imagine he does resist:-

PAUL:  So what?

  • Now she can ratchet her assertiveness up one notch by saying once again saying how his response makes her feel, and why

ANITA:  I’m shocked. You seem to be saying you don’t care if we lose a customer. 

Notice she doesn’t argue, which would make it easy for him to argue back. She simply makes him aware how his response makes her feel and why. Again, an honest, clear assertive approach like this will normally bring him to his senses. But let's imagine he continues to be difficult:-

PAUL:  Why don’t you go away and stop pestering me? Haven’t you anything better to do?

  • Now she rachets up another notch

ANITA:  Now I’m even more concerned, Paul, because you seem to be refusing to cooperate, and without your cooperation I can’t do my job.

  • Again she doesn’t argue. Instead, she ratchet's up another notch, focuses on how she feels right now, and why. 
  • If he goes on refusing she can ratchet up to the final notch

ANITA:  Now my concern is about you. If you go on refusing you give me no choice but to go over your head to the director, and that could be bad for you. I've no wish to make things bad for you. 

It is very unlikely she'll need to go this far, but the knowledge that she can if necessary gives her the strength to stand her ground.

Summary of how use the assertive ratchet

Notice how she stays very alert as the conversation moves forward. She never once argues or repeats herself. Once she's spoken assertively she moves on, focusing on the next and more immediate issue as soon as it arises. In this way she progressively increases the risk he is taking, but at every step she gives him another chance to change his mind. You need to be on your toes to use the assertive ratchet, but it is satisfyingly effective, and it defines how to be assertive:-

  • Use your feelings, because they're your most reliable source of personal power and authority.
  • Speak the truth.
  • Be clear and firm.
  • Don’t argue. 
  • There’s no need to be aggressive. 
  • Be economical with words.
  • All you have to do at each moment of the conversation, if you can be quick-witted enough to do it, is tell the truth about how you feel, what about and why.

This method needs a lot of practice, and that's what you'll get on this course on how to be more demanding or forceful. This is a great way to develop the confidence to stand up to people and be more demanding and forceful when they're being difficult. At no point in this conversation need you antagonise them or argue with them.

Yet more reasons why
you might benefit from this training in
how to be more demanding and forceful 

  • I realise I sometimes create tension and misunderstandings by not being firm enough with people.
  • If only I could get rid of a sense of guilt about making demands on people.
  • I very rarely say firmly and clearly what I want, because I'm always calculating how people will react. No wonder I find it difficult to handle situations requiring me to be tough.
  • I'd rather yield to someone else's will than insist on my own.
  • People must see me as weak.
  • Could I really change from being a pushover to being firm when necessary, forceful, demanding, tough and uncompromising?
  • Some people seem to know how to do it, so why not me?
  • Perhaps the secret would be to find out how to combine assertiveness with empathy, then I could be uncompromisingly tough on the issue but without antagonising the person. 

Is there more information on this website
relevant to being more demanding or forceful?

Yes. You might also find our page on assertiveness training and giving feedback 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

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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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 - 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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 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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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 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.

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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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 - 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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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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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 - 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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Examples of Training Needs Met

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

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