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Making Assertiveness Work for You

The Double Bind is real. Women and men can say the exact same words and be perceived very differently. We know it anecdotally, I've mentioned it here and here before. We also know it from the research and recent Workplace Studies.

I encounter stories of backlash and fear of speaking assertively in my work with women across countries, industries and levels. In fact, the fear of being seen as aggressive is so strong that it causes some to actively embrace using weak language. I also encounter stories of success, achievement and pride from women who embrace assertiveness as a communication skill.

These gendered norms and stereotypes are unfortunate and need to change. But until they do, how can you make assertiveness work for you?

Here are four practical strategies from Lean In to help women embrace assertiveness while minimizing the backlash commonly associated with The Double Bind. Have a look and let me know which ones you're most likely to use.


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