As governors our role is critical to the life and direction of a school and its community – so being able to be appropriately assertive in our dealings with others – including the school leadership team, other governors, and external contacts such as inspectors – is an important skill to develop. One of the most important and yet difficult to master aspects of interpersonal communication is assertiveness. Assertiveness is what we often call ‘standing up for yourself’ and it forms an important aspect of relationships – both professional and personal.