When you are a woman in any leadership position, there is always a trap placed before you. When you try to sound firm, men see you as attempting to boss over them, and the ego of our male counterparts most times doesn’t allow this to go through. Women are seen to be bossy even when all they want to do is assert their authority for a due course or a line of action. This, in turn, triggers dissent among coworkers and male subordinates who most times feel offended that a female boss is trying to lord it over them. This calls for caution and tact. How then will women be assertive in an environment where they are in charge, and there won’t be rancor or dissent among subordinates which can, in turn, reduce productivity?
First, women should know that all men have a soft spot for females. Use it to your advantage (You don’t want to abuse it though). How can this be done? There is a difference between the medium/media of communication and the message itself. Women should endeavor always to be soft when need be and be firm when it is necessary.
This is particularly important for women who want to build a viable career and intend to have a great relationship with superiors, colleagues, and subordinates while climbing the career ladder. In the work environment, everyone needs to co-operate for maximum efficiency.
You need to make your employees see you as acting in a position of authority and for the best interest of the firm and not taking your actions or decisions because you are a woman. Let them know you are not on a revenge mission against all male folks. They should see you more as a boss and not as a woman. This is because most people feel that women tend to take decisions and choose a line of action not because it is right but because they feel like it. Women are seen as highly emotive beings, so most folks believe they take all their decisions in that line.
Use your rallying power to get people on your side, not against you. Do not pick enemies over issues. Separate issue from people and act accordingly. If an issue calls for action, deal with it, not because of the person involved but because it is a matter that requires action and you are in a place to take action. Even after taking action that might be drastic, let your subjects see that you followed due process in dealing with the issue and not based on emotions or feelings. This is vital in building the base for assertiveness as a woman. When people begin to see due process facilitates your actions as against your personal beliefs, they tend to respect you more and give you that right to operate because they know you are not usurping the system to your gain and at their detriment. This fuels productivity among subordinates and colleagues.
In the workplace you do not want to come off as too passive to the point others walk over you or too aggressive whereas others are intimidated by you. The goal is to be assertive. What are some ways you relay assertion at work? Let me know in the comments below.