Being the bossy girl at work

Hey everyone,

I'm struggling with some work place environment stuff and could really use some advice. I was recently reprimanded and told that I'm too bossy (by my boss) after reminding a coworker to complete the tasks he begins before he ends his shift, because otherwise other coworkers will have to do it for him. This has happened to me in the past many times, and usually when I make a suggestion on how to improve an existing process.

I'm a very straight forward person, but I know that I am not unkind because I make a very strong effort to listen to all of my colleagues and offer assistance any time I can. Because I have a strong personality, I know that I can be perceived as tough, so I genuinely make an effort to be more approachable and understanding because I don't want people to feel like we can't work together. This is something I actively work on in myself everyday. I honestly prefer collaborative work, but often find that people look to me for direction, and then when I take that lead I am punished and/or reprimanded for it.

Does anyone else have experiences similar to this? How did you handle it? I want to be professional and kind, but I don't want to diminish my confidence and expertise. Help!

``but often find that people look to me for direction, and then when I take that lead I am punished and/or reprimanded for it. ``How do you think you can let your boss know this? Do you see other (male or male-presenting) people get the same "bossy" feedback?
Sounds like you are in a "fine line" territory. Every company might handle this differently. But how I read the feedback you received was - giving feedback to a coworker isn't how things are done where you are. It's a fine line between being collaborative and providing performance feedback (such as you should complete this before the end of your shift). I would escalate a concern like that to your boss.
Some thoughts:- Look at how others communicate these same needs. One approach is the "we" approach or using some softening language. If you are very direct, you may need to soften your language. It's definitely an adjustment (exhausting) if this is not your normal communication pattern.- Watch how others communicate these same requests. If you're using the same language, but uniquely penalized due to demographic variables, then it needs addressed. has some information here: - this can be an incredibly hard conversation to have and, yes, it can snowball quickly depending on the organization. It may be a larger pattern than just you.I've been the noisy person and it is tuning these two variables. As you get farther in your career, it gets easier to suss out the workplaces where you'll do well and the spots that are best to avoid.
I am sorry to hear this is happening. I too have experienced something similar. My husband tells me always to let other fail. It’s not your job to keep the people on task. Don’t let others pick up their slack either because you are just enabling the behavior to continue. Bring it up to your supervisor. You can say something like “I notice x struggles to complete their (task). I heard your feedback on not giving direction. For this situation (give high level synopsis), what do you see my role in the situation? Do you want me to A. say something directlyB. step in to help C. let you know?” Do exactly as they advise.If the work they are doing impacts your next step you can send an email, “I am ready to get started with (your task). We agreed upon to # date for your portion to be completed. (Hopefully you had it documented the agreed upon date and got buy-in) If you need more time could you please advise so that I can set expectations with (name of person you owe it to.) this will ensure you have it documented and if it occurs more than once elevate to your supervisor. If your Supervisor is the ultimate stakeholder you can ask during 1 on 1’s about any changes to the deadline since you haven’t seen (assignment completed). Ask your supervisor what they recommend to get the project back on track. Basically, you’re communicating to your supervisor and making them aware so they can do the follow up. Especially since it sounds like this might be out of your responsibilities.