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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Girl Scouts and Assertiveness

If you think like a Girl or Boy Scout, then assertiveness is much easier. The basic rule of scouting is "Be Prepared."

If you have thought in a "Be Prepared" way, then most instances in which you wish to be assertive can be quite easy.

For example, on Thursday I went to Michael's and bought some materials I needed for a scrapbook I am making. While there I noticed some really attractive reading glasses on a display. The glasses were stronger in magnification as you went down toward the floor on the display. I went down to the row that was for my strength; picked out a pair that I liked; and checked out of the store.

On the way back to the office at a red light, I pulled out my new reading glasses and before opening the package, I realized that they were not the right strength for me. I left the glasses, receipt, and bag from Michael's in my car so that I could easily return to the store.

Today I stopped at Michael's and reached over into the passenger seat for my "Be Prepared" needs for this assertive interaction. I had the item to be returned, the receipt and if there were any doubt, it was still in the bag from the purchase.

I walked into the store and said to an available clerk: "I bought these in here on Thursday and they are the wrong strength. I have the glasses unopened in the package and my receipt. I really like the glasses so I simply want to return to the display and get the right strength."

The clerk said, "Fine - just leave the receipt and purchase here with me."

I went back to the display; got the proper strength glasses; and walked back up to the clerk who was finishing checking someone out as I arrived. Within moments she had exchanged the glasses and I was out the door.

It pays to be prepared to increase the effectiveness of an assertive interaction.

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