The ability to bring one’s views across clearly without damaging the relationship with the other party.

communicates his/her views or statements clearly
speaks his/her mind when something is the matter, does not wait for something to happen
radiates self-confidence by his/her attitude and looks the other person in the eye
speaks his/her mind (e.g. in a meeting) even if it is diametrically opposed to that of his/her colleagues
stays calm even if others are loud and dominant

expresses him/herself clearly and voices his/her opinions
does not refrain from expressing his/her opinion but does so in a non-provocative way
clearly indicates what kind of behavior is not appreciated without voicing an opinion of a person concerned

stands up for his/her own interests, taking the common interest into account
voices his/her opinion in a way that does not harm interrelations
expresses his/her own interests without losing sight of the organization`s interests

stands up for the organization's interests in a context of cooperation
acts diplomatically; knows when to be direct and when not
can keep his/her opinion to him/herself until enough support is built up

Assertiveness can be easily developed if the candidate has a more than average score (7,8,9) on the drives Confrontation, Dominance and Sociability & contact.

What kind of other people's behavior do you find difficult to handle? How come? What exactly do you find difficult? What do you do?
Could you give an example of the way you begin a sales interview? Do you ever do it differently? Could you give an example?
Could you describe a recent experience in which it was important to make a good first impression? What exactly was the situation? What was your purpose? What happened exactly? What was the outcome?
When was the last time you had to convince a client of your qualities? What was the outcome?
Could you give an example of a difficult sales interview you experienced recently? What exactly was the situation? What was your purpose? What happened exactly? What was the outcome?

Try and obtain more insight in your motives and needs by taking a TMA Talent Assessment.
Try and say more often phrases like: ‘I think’, ‘In my opinion’.
Try and empathize more with other people's needs and preferences without neglecting your personal goals.
Try not to regard others as opponents; focus on the ball, not on the player.
Avoid using euphemistic language whenever you can. Say clearly what you want to say.

Ask your candidate to describe a situation in which he encountered resistance. What did this do to him? What was the other person’s reaction? What went well and what could be better? Try to think of alternative assertive responses together.
Ask your candidate to display behavior that is atypical of him. This can first be done during coaching, later possibly ‘for real’.
Ask your candidate to take careful notice of another person’s verbal signals and body language while talking to him. Explain that the two may diverge - which can be to his advantage. If the candidate’s lack of assertiveness is due to a personality trait such as low self-esteem or an introverted disposition, there is little one can do; in that case this competency is difficult to develop. You can find out with the TMA Assessment.
Confront your candidate with certain difficulties in a role play (“this cannot happen; you cannot do this; this does not work like this”) and encourage him to deal with these problems strategically.
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