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Assertiveness and Persuasion. What comes to mind when someone says you are:. Assertive Persuasive Aggressive Passive Manipulative Controlling. Personal Assessment. Do you already know your level of assertiveness, persuasiveness?

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Assertiveness and Persuasion

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Assertiveness and Persuasion

What comes to mind when someone says you are:

  • Assertive

  • Persuasive

  • Aggressive

  • Passive

  • Manipulative

  • Controlling

Personal Assessment

  • Do you already know your level of assertiveness, persuasiveness?

    • If asked to give a speech to a large group do you cringe in horror and decline the invitation?

    • When another person is hostile towards you do you automatically become defensive?

    • Do most people know you by name?

    • Do you make efforts to engage others in conversations?

    • Do you ask people questions?

Never forget:

  • In many cases, it is how you say it, not what you say that matters most in interpersonal communication. So, be especially aware of your non-verbals when it comes to assertiveness and persuasion.

Persuasion v. Coercion

I am going to pick you up and throw you off the roof.

I am going to convince you that you want to jump off the roof.




  • Related to perceptions of credibility

    • Trustworthy

    • Qualified

    • Personal dynamism

  • How could being more “persuasive” assist a pharmacist in patient care, or you in dealing with others?

  • Caution: Persuasive not agressive

How can we be more persuasive with patients and others without being aggressive?

  • Find common ground

    • We both want you to get better as soon as possible…

    • We both want you to get completely better, so, you need to finish all this antibiotic…

  • Be honest about your intentions

    • I need to call your doctor to verify this prescription…

    • I can’t read the strength….(not)

  • Be personally credible, admit when you don’t know something

    • I’m not familiar with the use of nystatin for mental alertness…

  • How can we be more persuasive with patients and others without being aggressive?

    • Be patient – i.e., reinforce your messages over time

      • Now, next time I see you we’ll talk about ways to help you quit smoking…..

  • Soften your appeals

    • You need to stop smoking. Everyone knows its bad for you. (not)

    • I think you might see some improvement in the way you feel if you could find a way to quit…..

  • Save your most important point for last.

  • Assertiveness

    • What happens to people who are not assertive?

    • What are some of the characteristics of people who are more assertive?

    Assertiveness Skills

    • Confrontation

      • Let the person know they are being aggressive and you do not like it.

      • State how you feel about the behavior and what the results of the behavior will be.

        • When you arrive late for your shift, I feel angry because it makes me late to pick my daughter up from the sitter.

        • I would appreciate it if you would call when you are running late, so that I can try to make other arrangements for my daughter.

    Assertiveness Skills

    • Saying “no”

      • When people make requests that are not reasonable, just say no.

      • Set your personal limits

        • Personally and professionally

        • Moral, ethical, preferences, legal, etc.

      • Because your doctor is not available right now, I can not refill your prescription. I must speak with her first. I can give you two tables until…..

    Assertiveness Skills

    • Making requests

      • Key Point:

        • Do not be afraid to ask for what you want.

        • I want you to make an appointment to see your doctor about your knee pain. The symptoms you have described are serious enough that they need to be assessed before we try to treat this with over the counter medications…

        • If you can speak to me with out being disrespectful we can continue this conversation.

    Assertiveness Skills

    • Expressing your opinion

      • Being expressive lets people know where you stand

      • It can demonstrate credibility – making you more persuasive

        • Doctor, I believe a short acting benzodiazepine would be more appropriate in this patient due to their age.

    Assertiveness Skills

    • Initiating conversations

      • Be a starter, seek opportunities to engage others

        • Avoid being abrupt or pushy

        • Hello, I’m the pharmacist, Mary, and I noticed you looking at the cough medications, can I help you select one?

    Assertiveness Skills

    • Being more self disclosing

      • Very personal issue

        • Sometimes, when you reveal personal information it can present the image of being more assertive – showing your confidence.

        • Sometimes, people will be thinking, “a little too much information”

        • Find the balance….use your rapport to know your limits

          • I take a blood pressure medication very similar to this and I have not had any negative side effects….


    Dr. Smith, this is Susan Stone, the pharmacist at Village Pharmacy. I’m really sorry to bother you. I know you are very busy. I could call back later if you want. But, I wanted to ask you about Mrs. Smiths prescription for Prozac.

    Dr. Smith, this is Susan Stone, the pharmacist at Village Pharmacy. I’m calling to verify the dose on Mrs. Smiths prescription for Prozac.

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