assertiveness practice at work

Respect yourself enough to stand up for yourself; your feelings, concerns, and opinions and ask for what you want. Also, learn how to say “no” without feeling guilty
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Post by missobsessive » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:15 am

So I've really noticed how much I LACK assertiveness. Oh my goodness do I ever. I never realized it before! After really trying to apply these skills, I've really noticed how much of a people pleaser I am.

So I'm really trying to work on this assertiveness stuff. But I've realized (well I kind of knew this all along) that -like Ken says- avoid conflict like the plague lol. I hate conflict. It causes A LOT of anxiety for me. So now I know that I need to get better at dealing with it. Because I've always been the one to just not say anything because I want to keep the peace. But then I have all this built up resentment toward people who I really care about because of never saying anything about what was bothering me or what the conflict was.

SO I think I've come across a good practice opportunity at work. Our cook, who is a really nice guy, can sometimes get a little cranky lol. And when he is cranky, he has no problem taking it out on us. He'll just give us lots of attitude.

Last week, he was in one of his 'moods' and I didn't know until he came back to our room to bring some food back, and I handed him a dirty plate to take back up to the kitchen. (One of the kids got a slight bloody nose, and a teeny tiny bit trickled onto this plate.) I didn't know what to do with it -things were kind of hectic in the room- and I saw our cook, so I handed it to him thinking, aahhh I don't know what to do with this right now can you just take it somewhere please?

Normally I'm pretty sure he would have responded jokingly saying 'ew' or something, but since he was in one of his moods he got SO mad and was like 'SO WHY ARE YOU GIVING IT TO ME???????' Then proceeded to go back to the kitchen flipping out over this plate.

AAHHH so okay, I understand that maybe you weren't the best person to take this plate, but it was hectic, I didn't know what to do with it, and it was just kind of a spur of the moment thing.

So I've decided that it would be a good opportunity for me to be assertive and tell him that I didn't appreciate being spoken to/ about like that over a stupid plate.

I was thinking of approaching him the next time I see him and saying something like:

I understand that you were in a bad mood about something, and that you were probably busy when I handed you that plate, but I feel like it was a bit un-called for for you to have that much attitude about it. I didn't really appreciate being spoken to/ about like that over something so stupid.

I don't really know what else to say lol.

Does anybody have any suggestions????? Thanks! :p

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Post by Paisleegreen » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:31 pm

I think that maybe enough has been said about the plate. You didn't want to take the plate back due to it being hectic, so you were assertive in giving him the plate.

He was just reacted to it and that was him being assertive to taking a plate that didn't look so good to a "Cook". He likes to see the plates look "pretty" and probably felt offended by the blood on the plate.

If you can, I would let him know you appreciated him taking the plate or let sleeping dogs lie. Unless this cook has a habit of talking like that, maybe it could be addressed in a different way. Not just over the plate.

I had an experience working in a locked area w/ Psych patients where I had what one would consider a sharp. I gave it to housekeeping to take to the Nurses station. I couldn't leave the room I was in to do so. Well, I thought I was doing the responsible thing, but I was written up for it as the sharp ended up on the eraser ledge of a dry erase board instead of a safer place.

I trusted another person to put it in a safe place, but didn't, so that was my expectations that rested on someone else's judgment that they would put it in a safe place.

It sort of was put in a safe place, the Nurse's station, but it was still available to a deranged person to get if they wanted to enough.

I probably would have been safer to just keep it with me as noone would have known, but by trusting another person, this object was more exposed.
It is just one of those Catch 22's that you just don't know what to do w/o more experience.

And maybe this incident w/ the cook can slide unless it was really offensive and you could take it to the Manager. Otherwise, everyone has their off days and the cook was probably feeling the pressure as well and expressed his stress by being repulsed by the plate.

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