Assertiveness in groups

September 3, 2008 at 10:47 pm Leave a comment

I realise my posts so far about my PGDE course haven’t been very reflective, nor have they contained much original thought. I’ve been trying to capture the great teaching tips provided by various lecturers, partly because I think they will be of interest to others, but mainly because I think this is the best way for me to store and find them again. I hope that’s not an inappropriate use of a blog, but anyway I’m switching to looking inside today…

We’ve been doing a lot of group work, with plenty more to come. Working so intensely with people who are still strangers (more or less) has made me realise I find group work quite difficult – something I’ve been dimly aware of but hadn’t confronted before. It’s an awkward realisation for someone who’s always counted “communication skills” as a strength. I’ve been wondering what’s going on, and I think it might be something to do with assertiveness, confidence and conflict.

I find conflict difficult (including minor disagreements that most people wouldn’t call conflict). I have to make a conscious effort to continue to listen well and make good contributions when there are differences of opinion in a group, and I don’t always succeed. This is when my role in the discussion is to be “me”. It doesn’t happen in work situations with service users/customers/children/young people. I get a cloak of confidence from having a clear role and professional responsibilities. So, I don’t think this will be an issue in the classroom with children, but it is an issue for working with adult colleagues.

On reflection, I have communication skills in the sense that I can listen well to others and express myself clearly in a variety of ways, but I’m wondering if I lack assertiveness (or not, or maybe, possibly, ummm, what would would I know anyway 😉 I think I’m capable of it, but it’s an effort, it’s much harder with new people, and it falls to pieces in debates/disagreements with peers. I pledge to explore and address this during this course. Tips are very welcome.


Entry filed under: CPD, PGDE.

Creating a supportive community: group bonding games and drama tips Poor neglected blog

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