How to be an Assertive Female Leader? – The Ultimate Guide

how to be an assertive female leader

In the working society, women are perceived as an individual who is calm, humble, and have tolerance and emotions. Due to these traits, women are not perceived to be successful and famous confident leaders. While in contrast, Men are supposed to be effective leaders, and their assertive behavior is perceived as a good trait for leadership. 

When a woman works on how to be an assertive female leader and comes in the way of leadership, many obstacles come their way. Many aspects and barriers halt their growth and discourage them from building confidence in leadership. But before knowing these hindrances and ways to be an assertive woman in the workplace, let us first understand the meaning of being an assertive person.

What does Assertiveness actually mean?

Assertiveness means, “Being confident enough to stand up and speak for yourself, having the courage to disagree with others respectfully, speaking up for others, and expressing your needs and thoughts in a non-aggressive way”. 

For being assertive, you must be courageous enough to stop going with the flow and speak up in a respectful way if you disagree with something. You must have assertiveness in your character to have self-confidence and leadership success. Assertiveness helps in developing high self-esteem which is crucial for a successful career.

how to be an assertive female leader

All these things are a little bit easy for men but for a female, it is somewhat difficult to be assertive as compared to men. Women are labeled as “Aggressive”, “Bossy”, “Unemotional bitch” or “Ice queen” if they demonstrate such direct behavior. 

These negative reviews and feedback results in a lack of confidence in leadership. 

Being Assertive or Being Aggressive?

Upholding the right balance between being assertive and being aggressive is tough for women struggling to work in male-dominated categories. 

A study was published in 2008 in Psychological Science, and according to the conclusions, when men express anger, their status gets a boost. While women received a consistent low status or low earnings after showing the same behavior and were seen as less competent.

Some similar results were also concluded by a survey that shows that in almost 75% of performance reviews, women were labeled as stubborn, aggressive, or asked to focus on their tone. They get negative personality criticism in most of the reviews.

how to be an assertive female leader

But regardless of these facts, it is also true that to be a successful leader, one should be assertive. It helps in overcoming a lack of confidence in leadership and gives a boost to your self-confidence and leadership success. Therefore, you should understand how to be an assertive female leader for a bright career.

According to research, more assertive Leaders are perceived to have high integrity and be more honest as compared to those who are less assertive. 

Many people have assertive personalities naturally, but some people have to work on achieving assertiveness. Learn here how you can do it.

How to be an Assertive Female Leader?

There is a difference between being assertive or being aggressive, and the psyche of labeling female leaders as aggressive can be controlled by working on facial expressions and body language. As it is always said that Actions speak louder than words, and 80% of what people perceive of us is based on facial expressions and body language

To develop assertive woman traits, it is required to keep your body language open, receptive, and aligned with your thoughts. Let others understand you and give sincere feedback without any hesitation.

Except for the gender discrimination in assertiveness, most females have low self-esteem and a shy attitude. This behavior stops them from moving ahead in their life and developing healthy careers.

It is indeed too difficult for women to break the glass ceiling and be successful in a leadership career. They have to face social barriers and criticism in the working field. But One who has the courage; Can do it.

So, what can a woman do for being assertive while also not being aggressive? How to be an assertive female leader and keep your women’s identification? Or how to be an empathetic leader?

Here are some tips in this regard that will hopefully help you be good in your leadership career. 

Tips to be an Assertive Woman in the Workplace

A study was conducted on assertiveness which shows a significant reduction in anxiety in students after they received assertiveness training.

Here’s how you can be more confident as a woman and develop assertive women traits. 

Keep your speech assertive 

One of the biggest mistakes women make is that they do not choose their words and body language properly. Softening your voice and being shy will not let you develop assertive woman traits ever

Avoid using a weaker language and be an assertive speaker. Your tone and body language are important, so, therefore, stop loosening your voice and be bold enough to confidently describe your point of view.

how to be an assertive female leader

Being assertive doesn’t mean being rude. You can do it and you have to do it if you want to gain self-confidence and leadership success.

Do not be afraid of any conflict or alienation because it is possible to present your ideas respectfully and confidently. Keep in your mind that you are not there to make everyone happy, you are there to work and lead your team. You should say your point in a way that clearly shows you are confident about what you are saying. 

Along with good speaking skills, body language is also important for being an assertive woman in the workplace. Don’t slouch or hide. Instead, keep your posture straight, and confident, and be in the front. This will surely help in working on how to be an assertive female leader and developing assertive woman traits.

Give and take feedback

It is really important to know how to gain leadership skills. And one way to know this is Feedback. Feedback is a gift and you should accept it positively. You can be an assertive woman in the workplace when you are confident, and feedback helps in building confidence in leadership. You can easily identify where you need improvement and what can help you in growing your organization. 

Not only accept the feedback but also give feedback to your team. An assertive leader is always ready to guide the team without any hesitation. With the help of feedback, you can understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team as well as your own. Provide constructive feedback clearly and precisely. 

Women are oftentimes not perceived as assertive because they do not communicate directly. They say things like, “I believe that it would be more good for our organization”, instead of “This is good for the organization, we should do it”.

Undoubtedly, it is included in assertive woman traits to be confident enough to lead your team. Be comfortable with your opinions and convey this feedback to others in an assertive and confident way.

Express what you want

For being an assertive woman in the workplace, do not suppress bad feelings or any issues for a long time. It might be difficult for you in the beginning but eventually, you will learn how to be an assertive female leader. Start with taking small steps and little decisions by yourself. Gradually, you will work your way. 

Maybe many people don’t like it when you express yourself and your needs. At this time, Remind yourself that you have the right to speak for yourself and express your needs. You can assert yourself even if others don’t like it. 

It is a trait of famous confident leaders that they say what they feel. If you are not comfortable or satisfied with your job, just say it.  It is valid to move on to a new position or job. Make yourself satisfied with what you do because unless you are not satisfied, you can never be a great leader. 

Instead of going home in a pathetic mood each night, you should talk for yourself. Do not let others make decisions for you because in this way you are giving control of your life to others.

Be open to collaborate

Collaboration is necessary for any company’s success, and a leader must engage the team and display collaborative behavior. While talking about how to be an assertive female leader, you need to accept that you need others for the success of a project. Therefore, be open to uniting with your people because, in this way, you can assert your needs and also take care of others’ needs.  When you take steps to fulfill the needs of others, you can be an assertive woman in the workplace without being labeled as aggressive or bossy.

how to be an assertive female leader

Moreover, keep in mind that collaborating with others doesn’t mean controlling others. There is indeed a lot of importance of confidence in leadership but never impose your decisions strictly on others. Being assertive means that your voice is being heard, noticed, and respected. 

Encourage contribution and ask for others’ opinions as well. In this way, you can reduce the lack of confidence in leadership.

Assertiveness doesn’t mean isolation and you should talk and discuss various factors. But before you collaborate and assert your point, you must consider some aspects. Like, Is it the right time for this discussion? Should I explain my point of view or just provide key points? Do I have enough time and accurate reasons to justify my point? How can they think of this perspective? Analyzing such queries would help you in collaborating more assertively.

Know your strength and weakness 

Learning how to be an assertive female leader is essential for anyone’s career. But how can you be an assertive woman in the workplace when you are unaware of your strengths and weaknesses? How do you become assertive feminine when you have no assertive woman traits? 

Make yourself confident and improve your weaknesses. In life, there come a lot of hindrances that break your self-esteem and discourage you, but you have to be unbeatable. Take challenges, and use your strength to overcome your weakness. You can constructively take feedback, observe others around you, and analyze famous confident leaders.

Use this knowledge to further improve yourself that build up a strong character having a mixture of masculine and feminine traits. So, that you can be an assertive woman in the workplace without any conflict or barriers. You will surely gain self-confidence and leadership success after analyzing your strengths and improving your weaknesses.

Develop good relationships

Assertiveness is critical to successful leadership but when a woman is being assertive, she receives negative responses. So, a beneficial tip on how to be an assertive female leader is to develop good relationships with your colleagues and team members. Keep others’ requirements in your mind and try to fulfill them as a leader.  

how to be an assertive female leader

Say your point and lead them but keep your tone warm and empathetic. Understand how to be an empathetic leader for developing good relationships. If there is a gap and lack of communication between leaders and other members of the team, then everyone will consider the leader or a boss to be aggressive or bossy. Strong relationships and healthy communication can help in covering these gaps. 

Make sure to communicate, show empathy, and be generous to be a non-aggressive and assertive woman in the workplace.

Furthermore, don’t hesitate to cut off negative and toxic relationships because such relationships can move you away from the track to gaining self-confidence and leadership success. Therefore, end the relationships that are not working and causing damage to your self-esteem and assertiveness. Always take control of your life in your life instead of others and do what is good for you.

Let no one stop you

Women are considered to be extremely good at handling relationships but many times, some conflicts occur. Fear of conflict creates barriers to speaking up for yourself. Be courageous to raise your voice for your needs and wants. Being assertive helps you to have an action plan ready to confront these obstacles. 

Undoubtedly, it is crucial to have good relationships but keep in mind that you are not there to make everyone happy. Having Self worth and building confidence in leadership is necessary. So, don’t underestimate your talents and skills. Learn to say ‘NO’ according to your ease, comfort, and needs.

how to be an assertive female leader

Moreover, except for all the other problems and discriminations, many life challenges can demotivate you and destroy your confidence. In life, you will fail, but stand up again and express your wants because you have to face lots of challenges as an individual.

Women mostly keep them quiet in many situations just for the sake of a good environment around them. Do your efforts but never compromise for yourself. Be unstoppable, direct, and decisive, so that you can be an assertive woman in the workplace.

Last Words

Along with the struggles of being a female, there exist many aspects that diminish the self-esteem of women. To compete in this fast-paced world, females also need to work in male-dominated sectors. For this, they should be courageous enough to withstand the criticism and take it positively. They should know how to be an assertive female leader and how to gain leadership skills. 

Be assertive, bold, and spirited when it comes to standing for yourself and speaking up. I hope that these tips will help to achieve assertiveness, self-confidence, and leadership success ahead in your life.

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