Wednesday, February 05, 2014

How to Identify Your Female Leadership Strengths

This article was written by Anna Runyan, Leadership Coach and Founder of Anna is also the author of the brand new book, The Professional Woman's Guide to Managing Men.   Anna helps professional women upgrade their leadership and accelerate their career success. 

Confidence in my strengths is not something that I always had as a manager. When I first started managing, I tried acting like the team’s previous manager and that didn’t work. Then, I tried to manage like how I thought a man would manage, that failed miserably. Each of these strategies failed because it was pretty obvious to those I was leading that I didn’t know myself very well and I wasn’t really confident in who I was. It wasn’t until I started discovering my own leadership strengths and that I started to feel more confident in who I was as a female manager.

There are many qualities that female managers inherently have that men appreciate. Men often have different strengths than women and that is why diverse teams of men and women work well together.  Remember, the goal is to be proud of the strengths you bring as a woman instead of trying to be like a man. Review this list of the 6 most common female leadership strengths and identify what strengths you have:

1) Collaboration: Women often request ideas from the entire team and get group buy-in. Women are also great at sharing information and delegating.

2) Calm Under Pressure: Women can handle tough situations with a sense of calm without getting aggressive.  Women can also appear less threatening by establishing trust quickly with the men they manage.

3) Attention to Detail: Women are known to be organized and detailed and can usually handle doing a lot of things at once.

4) Openness: Women can be open and honest and share a lot of information about tasks and results.

5) Intuition: From my experience, women can often tap into other people’s needs faster and more effectively than men. Women can often pick up very subtle clues about how the people around them are feeling.

6) Empathy: Women are often more capable than men of showing concern for other people’s feelings and connecting on a personal level.

Take some time to reflect on the above leadership strengths and write down 2 strengths that you have right now. Then, right down 2 leadership skills that you want to improve on and you will quickly become a more confident female leader around those you manage.


  1. Love this list! I firmly believe one of my strengths as a leader is my instincts for reading people and reading what drives them. My boss is often super clueless when I point out that someone isn't going to help someone else because they hate each other. Stopping by from SITS!

  2. a happier girl,
    I chuckled when I read your comment. My boss just looks at me when I point out those types of observations, but I am always right. Reading people and situations is one of my strengths too.

  3. This is a great list! I learned my strengths when I lived overseas, it helped me tremendously to be put in situations where I had no one to rely on but myself. SITS girl checking in!

  4. Great list! The "women's intuition" element is a huge business asset. Stopping by from #SITSBlogging

  5. A women's intuition is strong! I'm pretty good at reading people as well. Calm under pressure is seriously one of my Biggest strengths!

  6. This is a great list - it's always nice to hear "female" characteristics cast in a positive way. I think people who question whether women make great leaders perhaps aren't always the greatest followers.

  7. What a great list. It is hard sometimes to think of the positives instead of the negatives. Thanks for sharing.
    The Adored Home

  8. These are great points (and also great tips). I think intuition is probably one of the more common strengths among women.

  9. Hi Savvy Working Gal, Stopping by #SITSBlogging. I really like your blog and enjoy your posts.

    I agree with Savanna that women can work well under pressure. Thanks.

    Check out my other blog: valentine Day SMS


  10. SO important to think about the positives and let go of the wasteful mind chatter of what we perceive as our weaknesses. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Such a great list! I think it's so important to encourage woman in leadership and I think it's something that is over look a little too often.

  12. This is a great list! We really need to get focus on women in leadership - the more blogs & books out there the better.