Assertive Supervision-Building Involved Teamwork S. Drury Champaign, JL: Research Press 1990, 317 pp. $19.95
This well-written book on assertiveness clearly describes the nonassertive, assertive, and aggressive styles of supervision. Each chapter provides numerous examples, practice exercises, and self-tests. The author identifies feelings and beliefs that support aggressiveness, nonaggressiveness, or nonassertiveness which help the reader "look beyond the words themselves."
The chapter on overcoming difficulties covers how one's own beliefs cause feelings that interfere with the ability to be assertive. The description of the often irrational beliefs and the discussion of feelings such as guilt, fear, anxiety, and doubt assist the reader in self-analysis.
Assertive techniques are defined in a short but powerful chapter that prepares the reader for the two most helpful chapters in the book. "Giving Assertive Criticism" and "Responding to Criticism" should be read by every supervisor. Using the DESC script-writing technique by Bower and Bower, the author explains the importance of writing out a script that describes the behavior that creates the problem, expresses why the behavior is a problem to the supervisor/ organization , specifies what the supervisor wants the employee to do instead, and outlines the consequences of compliance/ noncompliance. According to this author, use of this method is the first step in problem-solving.
In "Responding to Criticism," the mistakes made by people when receiving criticism are identified and the reader is encouraged to depersonalize the words while looking at the reasons for the criticism.
The author has included an appendix outlining how to use the material in this book for supervisory training. I feel that only staff or faculty with expertise in assertiveness O'aining would be able to conduct the workshops described. The Chapters on giving and receiving criticism, however, could be used in continuing education classes for managers. I would highly recommend this book as a primary resource for managers/supervisors, and as a reference book for nurse educators in academic and clinical settings.