Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Assertiveness Training IV: Flexible Assertiveness

The Second Level of Assertiveness
Flexible Assertiveness

We are moving up the ladder away from passive aggressivity and towards the highest levels of assertivity.
Flexible Assertivity is characterised by the willingness to adapt between passive, aggressive and assertive communication strategies to get the assertive objective of the fairest and best outcome for everybody involved. The choice of strategy is conditional and dependent on the recipient. Use the stats and the science for those that have an ounce of understanding and objectivity but be prepared to use other Win/Lose and Lose/Win strategies where they will be more effective. And mix strategies.

It sounds like common sense so why don't the Rigid Assertives do it?

It is because to a Rigid Assertive person, this strategy appears externally as if it is a regression back into passive aggressivity. It is against their ethics. They are trying to forget about emotions and exclude them from their lives. They are not influenced in any way by other people's emotions to assure their Noble Scientific of Objectivity. They do not even care whether they are popular. They are doing the right thing.

Again, what is not seen is the internal process. The Flexible Assertive person has pre-thought before they open their mouth. They have considered the best outcome and the best means to secure that outcome. They are not sympathising, being lead or allowing themselves to be manipulated by the emotions of another. They are in control. They are steering the other person using their emotions.

This is akin to the situation with a passive aggressive person seeing outward assertivity as explained in http://clinicalarts.blogspot.mx/2013/12/selling-best-therapy-assertiveness_3.html. They do not see the inner process of considering the best outcome for both sides before they open their mouths. They are not speaking for egoism or popularity but for the common good. The passive aggressives do not get that. It would never occur to them. They are emotionally drive not thought driven.

The conscious but invisible decision behind Flexible Assertivity is the right option based on knowledge and understanding of the world for the long term common good which now includes emotions. That knowledge and understanding of the world has just got wider, spreading from empirical science to the soft sciences such as clinical psychology and sociology. Their treatment plan has just got a hell of a lot more complex because it includes psychological, emotional and social factors that can be enlisted or that must be overcome for treatment to be optimised.

Flexible Assertivity gets better hard outcomes especially where lifestyle change comes into the picture. Wherever patient participation is involved Flexible Assertiveness scores. It also achieves them with less conflict and greater trust.

And for the first time the clinician is playing the passive aggressive salesperson at their own game. This is not a level playing field. Do not expect those with the morality of selling inferior therapies to be moral about their tactics. Expect them to claim innocence and that they do not know what they are doing. 

The morality of Rigid Assertiveness gets in the way again. It believes that patient's should be free to make their own decision without any form of 'emotional manipulation' from Flexible Assertivity. They should just be given the hard evidence, the statistics and trials. 

And of course, the Dark Arts salespeople agree. Those that recommend the best therapy should not be allowed to use effective sales strategies to oppose their immorality and profiteering. Doctors should have their hands tied behind their backs and stay blindfolded so that they do not realise what is going on.

The Rigid Assertive mindset ignores these emotional factors and frequently loses because of them. The simple fact is that before the patient has arrived, they have already been got at and been emotionally manipulated so that they cannot see the evidence before their nose. They have simply been exposed to too much propaganda and passive aggressive sales.

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