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Assertiveness at Work: A Practical Guide to Handling Awkward Situations Paperback – 1 Jun 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co.; 3rd Revised edition edition (1 Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0077095332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0077095338
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 14.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 796,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Ken and Kate Back are the founders and directors of Ken and Kate Back Limited which specialises in assertiveness training for people at work. They have brought together their extensive training experience to produce videos and articles on assertiveness, and have also appeared on television programmes to promote assertiveness in the workplace.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 20 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book back in 1991 and must have one of the most thumbed through editions ever! I am a counsellor and have found the material in this book to be invaluable both for myself, and for my clients. It is really clear and easy to read, yet unlike so many self-help books has a depth to it which makes it realistic. There is no 'magic' solution here - the authors honestly talk about the need to practice skills - but there is a hope for anyone who would like to become more honest with others about theirs feelings and thoughts
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Format: Paperback
I am Lucy Barnes-Watson of Patina.co.uk. I am a trainer and personal coach in management, leadership and personal skills. I require two types of books a) "advanced" texts which further develop my own knowledge and skills to become a better trainer. b) "basic" texts which I can give to my "students" to read.
Bearing the above in mind, I have this to say:
This is an excellent first introduction to assertiveness. It is easy to read and covers the basics at the beginning, developing into more advanced usages of assertiveness. A good "first-time" book on assertiveness and one which I can give to my students.
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Format: Paperback
I really like this book. It gives effective, clear guidelines on improving assertiveness. I particularly like the fact that it also explores the psychological factors behind nonassertion a bit, which was very interesting to read.
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Although it reads very much like a text book (a very stuffy numbering approach to the various tables was a turn off) and doesn't share an overly friendly or personal tone, it balances out with strong, clear and most importantly, practical, worked through explanations and definitions of the different types of assertiveness (and dives a little bit into the typical behaviours behind them), giving concise guidelines on how to apply the suggested techniques in the workplace. You will come away with a tool kit of different approaches to try out when handling any situation at work or you can even adapt the language for practice in your home life.

A few more exercises to work through would have been beneficial, as the ones included were great.
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This was recommended to me by a colleague who uses it as her 'bible' when delivering assertiveness workshops for top level public sector managers.

It's marvellously well structured, detailed in the most helpful way and uses superbly contextualised examples throughout. Most of all it's interesting and readable.

An excellent book for personal and professional use.
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This was a book I was given as part of a course about 25 years ago and it's been one of my resources ever since. The great thing about how this book is written is the practical advice you can start to apply straight away. All the scenes described are recognizable and you'll find yourself thinking that's exactly what I've just been through, how should I have dealt with it? If you have read some works on Transactional Analysis you'll be very comfortable with what's here. So the book will describe how we fall into three modes - Adult, Parent and Child and how this affects how we deal with situations. But of course those you deal with also fall into the same three categories so we get to see how these match and the likely outcomes. This book should be on the shelf of anyone who negotiates, sells, manages people, or runs teams. If you feel you are overworked because you say yes too often, this is a great book. (That was my problem.)

The course leaders also recommended Eric Berne's classic book, "The Games People Play". Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships

It matches up with another couple of my favourites - The One Minute Manager - Leadership and the One Minute Manager and Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

And if you are reading the Situational Leadership book you'll want a copy of the film "12 O'clock High" to practice spotting the styles of both leader and follower.
Twelve O'Clock High [DVD] [1949]
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I really struggled with learning to say 'no' at work and not feeling guilty about it - this book is great for helping people like me who are confident, but find it a struggle to find the difference between being assertive and being aggressive. It gave clear examples and instructions and really helped me. I find that I go back and reference this book when I have situations where I'm not sure how to react - I wouldn't be without it.
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Format: Paperback
I am doing a Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management and I have struggled with assertiveness all my working life. I read this book for personal development reasons and I found it a very easy read with practical exercises and suggestions that can be adapated to work situations. I thought the exercises and tables would have been better all together in the back because I think it would be useful to photocopy them and keep with you as a reminder. Overall a very good book.
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