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9 nasty names I’ve been called as a female leader … or were they compliments?

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Jennifer Crimmins

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in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

I’m a born leader. At two years old, I was called precocious; at six I was bossy, and by age ten, I had learned that people liked me better when I partially hid my leadership ability. So I began keeping quiet when I had something to say.

When I started work as a doctor, I allowed more of my natural leadership qualities to show. The negative feedback about my “personality” began immediately.

Here are some names (not including the B-word) I’ve been called in the workplace over the years:

  • Aloof
  • Arrogant
  • Mean
  • Entitled
  • Negative
  • Sensitive
  • Insensitive
  • Demanding
  • Superior

In the early years of my medical career, hearing one of these names would wound and confuse me. How could I be aloof when I cared so much about others? How could I be arrogant when I felt so unsure?

I spent years trying, in vain, to “be nice.”  I lost confidence and withdrew, trying to avoid offending anyone. I was not being my...(register to read more)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brett Gebers February 2, 2019 at 4:58 pm

I have worked with and for fabulous female leaders and think for many leaders, male and female it is often the way things are said and not actually what is said that gets in the way of getting the message across.


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