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SAGE Student Success - being assertive

Becker, L. ORCID:, (2022) SAGE Student Success - being assertive. SAGE Student Success. SAGE Publications, London. (ISBN 9781071891582)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.4135/9781071891582


Learning how to be assertive, and then putting that learning into practice, will make a positive impact not just on your life as a student, but also in your professional future. Imagine for a moment that you could learn how to be more assertive ... it takes only a few seconds to begin to appreciate how this could help you throughout your time on campus. Some examples – of the many instances in which you could use this skill – will show you just how much it could help you. In your first year at university, taking an assertive approach will allow you to: Express clearly how you feel about new situations, helping others to see you more clearly and respect your viewpoint. Listen actively to how others are experiencing life on campus, so that you can more fully appreciate their needs and life view. Ensure that, when you are working in a group, your way of approaching the task is not sidelined, and that you are not left doing far too much of the work. Live more harmoniously in shared housing, with everyone understanding the best way to live together. Socialise in the way that you enjoy, without expecting everyone to join in, but also not being in situations that leave you feeling uncomfortable. As your study journey continues, you could be assertive in some key situations: In high-stakes projects, where every mark could matter to you, being assertive gives you the chance to direct how a project develops. In managing your time alongside your fellow students, so that you are not feeling the pressure of continually running out of time. As you express your views and beliefs in students’ clubs, societies, or publications, giving you the chance to free speech that is persuasive without offending. If you are undertaking a final year project, asserting your intellectual position with your academic tutor, supervisor, and mentor, allowing you to shine without alienating your supporters. If you feel that you, or a group of which you are part, are being treated unfairly, assertiveness is going to be key to resolving the situation in your favour. Beyond your life on campus, being assertive pays dividends both now and in the future: If you work to earn money whilst studying, you need to guarantee that you are as well paid as you possibly can be for each hour you work. If you have to negotiate better working conditions or more flexible hours, assertiveness is the tool you need. You may need to negotiate with your university to allow you to carry out paid work (you might, for example, need to swap to another class or seminar group) and this is made easier if you approach it in an assertive way. If you want to find a great student placement or internship, you have to make a strong case for yourself and ensure that it will work for you: assertiveness gets you there. Once you enter the career marketplace, assertiveness is both attractive to an employer, showing you as an achiever, and also a sure way to enter your professional life on terms that suit both you and your employer. This sounds like a win-win situation, for everyone involved, and it is – but that does not make it an easy win. Becoming assertive, and maintaining the skill, takes thought, hard work, and determination ... so let’s begin.

Item Type:Web Resource
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:111411
Publisher:SAGE Publications


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