No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Assertiveness Warm-up/Energiser


Has anyone got any warm-ups/energisers or games they would be happy to share with me? I am currently writing a 1 day workshop on Assertiveness for Team Leaders in a busy Manufacturing company, I'm looking for any games, exercises, energisers that I can incorporate into the day.
Many thanks in advance

Buffy Sparks

12 Responses

  1. Assertiveness
    You could post up pictures of different celebrities both assertive, aggressive and passive and ask the delegates who they think are assertive and why.

    Sandra Beale

  2. Some suggestions for activities
    Ask them to identify a situation, from their own personal experience, in which they found it hard/easy to be assertive either outside or at work. Use the hard-to-be-assertive situations as problem-solving group work and feedback.

    Give them examples of situations, which involve some form of threat, together with one or more possible responses, and ask them to identify whether the response is assertive, passive or aggressive. For example:

    Situation: The barmaid serves you the wrong drink in the pub.

    Response: “What do you call this? I asked for a shandy, not lager – get your act together, love.”

    Situation: A new colleague, with whom you share an office, smokes continuously. You dislike the smell of smoke.

    Response: “Gosh, I’ve really got a headache, but then smoky atmospheres always bring on my migraine.”

    Situation: You are feeling put upon at work and decide to ask for a higher grade.

    Response: “I’d like to talk about my grade with you. Please could we meet next week to discuss it further?”

    Give them examples of typical situations, which represent some form of threat, either outside or at work, and ask them to identify an assertive, passive and aggressive response to each situation. For example:

    A non-work situation: You are waiting to pay for some shopping but the two sales assistants at the till are deep in conversation and appear to be ignoring you.

    A couple of work situations: Your employer expects you to take on extra work but your existing work load is already very heavy. You make a mistake at work and your supervisor tells you off in a very abrupt and angry manner.

  3. more than the initial response
    I’ve found a lot of assertiveness materials focuses on the first response you give when you need to be assertive but often the other person will still react agressively or not give you want you want. Therefore try this exercise.

    Get people in groups to think of a situation in which they need to be assertive, and to write out a summary of it plus their assertive response. Then they pass this to another group to write out what the other person might say back to them. Then they write another assertive respond which goes back to the other group for a reply and so on. Obviously you can have lots of these going on at once. You can then read out the conversation and discuss the learning points.

    Less threatening than roleplay and gives time for groups to think of a reply.

  4. The Chair
    Not so much of an ice breaker, more of a consolidation exercise, but, if you select the participants wisely can bring some good laughs and excellent learning points.

    Ask someone who you feel is fairly strong and able to behave assertively to sit on a chair in the middle of the room.

    Select 4 other people and assign them a behaviour type – assertive, aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive and advise them that their task is to persuade the person on the chair to relinquish the chair. It puts the behvaiours you have already discussed into context. I have always found that it works extremely well.

  5. Try non-verbals first
    Hi Buffy, an exercise we use with our assertiveness workshop works very well to open up the group.
    Working in triads each person communicates an emotion with only non-verbal language. The two others try to determine which emotion is being communicated. As the practice goes round the triad, each gains skill in using congruent non-verbals, and each strengthens skills in recognizing and interpreting emotion. In fact, the non-verbal is often the strongest part of the message.
    good luck, margo
    [email protected]

  6. variation on the chair exercise
    I have used Simons example, but instead of asking them to give up a chair, give the person in the chair a box of chocolates, and get them to try to persuade the person to share the chocolates….aggressively, passive-aggressively or assertively. It can be a laugh…. also helps people to realise that being assertive does not guarantee success…(if the person holding the chocolates is a chocaholic..or just doesn;t want to share).
    Nice to halp you Buffy. you have been helpful to me in the past.

    Just wanted to say what a fantastic resource we have in TrainingZone…..thousands of great trainers, consultants, specialists giving great advice, suggestions and supplying fantastic material, games,and ideas!
    Thank you again to all of the brilliant repsonses to my question, you’re help is greatly appreciated.

  8. Fists
    The biggest problem for most people, in my experience, is being able to draw the line between assertiveness and aggression. I find this exercise helpful – although it might not work in a culture like the UK, where physical contact is infra dig.

    This bears some similarity to some of the exercises given before, and a blended idea might work. Split the group into pairs. Half the members will receive one set of makes a fist.
    Person A’s instructions read: Person B will make a fist. You MUST get that fist open.
    Person B’s instructions read: make a fist. Person A is going to attempt to get you to open your fist. You must NOT open your fist unless he/she asks you politely and assertively.

    Most people will try to prise the fingers open, which is why I added the caveat about physical contact.

  9. Other icebreaks and energisers
    If you haven’t already, take a look at Alan Chapman’s website. It’s UK based and I’ve found this to be a fantastic site with stacks of free information and downloads including icebreakers and energisers for almost every conceivable situation.

  10. Move out my way
    Ask all the delegates to form an orderly line – one behind the other.

    The second person then has to persuade the person in front to leave the front of the line so they can move up. When the person in front moves, they join the end of the line.

    The game is over when the person who started at the back reaches the front.

    This can generate a lot of fun with different style – people end up ordering, pleading, shouting, etc…

    Good luck – Rob


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!