4 Ways Women Sabotage Their Careers by NOT Being Assertive

Posted by | Communication | 0 |

It might not seem relevant, but being assertive is a key ingredient to so many elements for professional success for women. Being passive can equate to inactivity, non-engagement or procrastination. Yet, women who lack skill in the fine art of assertiveness can be seen as aggressive, too direct or sarcastic. Women who are assertive are likely to have a greater level of professional success. Women who sit complacently in their current level of skill in areas of emotional intelligence and assertiveness are unlikely to progress on a satisfying career path.  Here are 4 ways that women sabotage their careers by not being assertive.

Assertive Women1. They Can’t Take Action

When you can hone your skills in being assertive, the decision-making process becomes so much easier.  An assertive woman has the skills to deal with the outcome and consequences of any decision she makes, whether those outcomes are positive or negative.  Consequently, an assertive woman can make decisions quickly, knowing that no matter what, she will be able to manage the outcome professionally and confidently

2. Their Leadership Skills Are Weakened

When you are responsive, making decisions quickly, you become a person that people trust and admire.  A woman who can assertively make decisions is a reliable resource. However, people will not seek you out for advice or entrust you with responsibility if you are indecisive.  Alternatively, women can sometimes hide behind the passive-aggressive behaviour of sarcasm, insincerity, slyness or bitchiness which weakens their Leadership prowess.

3. They Can’t Communicate Their Needs

An assertive woman can effectively communicate her needs at work but also in other environments.  However, a woman lacking in assertiveness skill is likely to cause disruption or offence when trying to communicate her needs.  Or she may not have a voice of her own, relying on others to speak on her behalf.

Some women become either aggressive or anxious rather than finding the right balance of assertiveness to express their needs and interests.  Either end of the spectrum is going to cause unwanted stress.

Assertive Women Communicate4. It Reduces Their Productivity

Most women won’t be aware of it, but by not being assertive, all of the above will affect a woman’s productivity.  Women who are not being assertive, will not:

  • Learn from mistakes
  • Communicate Effectively
  • Communicates their needs or wants for a project
  • Manage their stress or anxiety to work at full capacity

How do you think you rate?  You can quickly identify whether you are passive, aggressive or assertive by taking this FUN QUIZ.

But if you’d seriously like to improve your ability to be assertive, invest in some professional development training.  Alternatively, if you’d like to address these issues in the comfort or privacy of your own home, talk to me about regularly half hour stress management coaching sessions, conducted via skype or phone.

About the Author:

Barbara Clifford - The Time TamerBarbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a  Time Management Expert and Stress Management Practitioner based in Alice Springs, Australia.  She has spent over 20 years working in stressful,  time precious industries such as film, hospitality and marketing.  She has always had a burning passion for making sense of things. She seeks knowledge around systems, processes, gadgets, apps and stationary for whatever will organise the working world.   Barbara is sought after like a beacon in a sea of chaos to provide professional clarity.  Barbara’s professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care and Health Services.


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