As women, we often find ourselves walking a fine line between being assertive and being seen as a “bitch.”
Navigating the intricate dynamics of the workplace can be tough, especially when we’re frequently assessed by our demeanor instead of our performance.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to harness our assertiveness, or embrace our inner “tough cookie,” without allowing others’ perceptions to deter us from accomplishing our tasks.
Speak Up, Sister! How to Embrace Your Assertiveness Without Fear of Labels
Assertiveness is an important trait valued in the workplace, no matter your gender. It’s all about communicating effectively, voicing your needs and opinions clearly, and standing up for yourself when needed.
However, when women show assertiveness, they’re sometimes labeled as difficult, aggressive, or pushy. This can be disheartening and might lead women to doubt their own abilities or second-guess themselves.
When you’re worried about being called the bitch, it’s common to hold back from speaking up or sharing your thoughts.
How Women Can Own Their Assertiveness and Thrive
It’s time for us to change the narrative and embrace our assertiveness as women. We should take pride in our ability to communicate effectively and stand up for ourselves and others. It’s not about being aggressive or domineering; it’s about having confidence and self-assurance.
By embracing our assertiveness, we emerge as strong leaders who drive positive change within our organizations.
Every leader has to make tough decisions.
Every leader has to delegate work.
Every leader has to have hard conversations.
It’s a necessity when leading any type of team. You can’t be effective if you can’t be direct and assertive when needed.
Assertive Women Leaders Defying Expectations and Getting the Job Done
Everyone has their opinions, but it’s ultimately up to us how we respond to them. We shouldn’t let anyone undermine our strength or make us doubt our worth. We need to keep showing up genuinely and assertively, regardless of how others might see us. After all, what’s more important: getting the job done or being liked?
If the latter takes priority over successfully fulfilling your responsibilities, you might want to reconsider if a leadership role is truly the right fit for you.
Assertiveness Meets Empathy
Sometimes, striking the right balance between being assertive and respectful can be tricky. But it’s important to remember that assertiveness and respect go hand in hand. We can express our needs and opinions clearly while also demonstrating empathy and understanding toward others.
When you’re clear about your direction, it makes having straightforward and tough conversations much easier. Your team members will recognize when they haven’t met expectations and appreciate that you’re holding them accountable.
Rising Above Labels
Embracing our assertiveness as women is key to our success in the workplace. We mustn’t let anyone’s perceptions deter us from accomplishing our tasks. We can be strong and assertive while also being respectful and empathetic toward others. By embracing our assertiveness, we become powerful leaders who drive positive change in our organizations and beyond.
I’m not suggesting you should be a literal “bitch.” Instead, my best advice on this topic is to stop worrying about the label someone else might put on you and focus on what’s best for your organization, clients, team, and the task at hand.
Remember, you can’t always please everyone, and the higher you climb in your career, the more people may try to label you as something other than successful.
Last modified: April 21, 2023