The Home Office - Assertiveness at Work

Sat 20 May 2017

The Home Office - Assertiveness at Work

Client: The Home Office

Programme: Assertiveness at Work

(Delivered in London, UK, 2017)

The client

The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this endeavour since 1782. As such, the Home Office plays a fundamental role in the security and economic prosperity of the United Kingdom. The Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, fire, counter-terrorism and police.

The problem

The Home Office were keen to understand the difference between assertive and non-assertive behaviours. They wanted to identify key strategies for dealing with difficult conversations at work, they specifically wanted to learn how they can sensibly and responsibly deal with unhelpful responses and reactions. Ultimately, they wanted to learn the skills required to be assertive in their role, without being overpowering.  

Our actions

As we were running this course specifically for Home Office staff who deal with sensitive information in their day to day role, we decided to conduct a call between the client and the trainer to completely understand what it was they wanted to achieve from the training day. It became clear from the call that delegates wanted to feel more confident at work. One of the Home Office values is ‘safe to challenge’, so part of the focus was to be on how to assertively do this and for line managers and their staff to develop a shared understanding of what assertive behaviour is and developing Line Managers appreciation that staff are not ‘just being difficult’. Another angle that came from the client call was that the Home Office were keen to learn more about how to deal with relationships with external stakeholders as these were not being managed effectively, so they specifically asked for assertiveness in this context.

Following the call, the trainers for the day developed an agenda that reflected the Home Office wanted and needs that included a tailored scenario were delegates would be able to pick a situation and in groups come up with a strategy for dealing with them assertively. The materials for the day included an action plan, the delegates could take this away with them after the training and use it in their day to day role to remind them of the tips and tricks on how to be assertive at work.


The feedback from the day was all very positive. The delegates could practice their assertiveness skills and ask questions in a controlled environment. We have since been asked to deliver this training again for Home Office staff in Liverpool.

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