A Softer Approach or A Tougher Stance

Stunned, Denise drove home with her stomach pulling like taffy. She fought a tangle of emotions, trying to separate fact from the illusion her assumptions demanded.

What are my motives? Am I acting out of defense? Are my emotions steering my decisions? Do I have factual data to reach the best conclusion? Does it really matter if Rob consults me before purchasing?

Once she’d analyzed all the information at her disposal, Denise decided her motives were pure. She simply felt the responsibility of ensuring the company’s money was spent wisely. In her experience, Denise had known times when the appropriate response was to submit, but not in this case. By pattern of practice, Denise knew Rob was a poor money manager, both in his personal life as well as at work. She felt obligated to help prevent a problem if she could.

After dinner, Denise prayed and asked for wisdom. Then she sat down and developed a list of patterned problems Rob had shown in past work scenarios. She bulleted how the issues could have been prevented. Then she laid out the facts in the current situation, including black and white numbers of probable financial costs to the company. Finally, she showed how they could save money by changing course now. Then Denise signed the document and went to bed with a clear mind.

The next morning, she knocked on Mr. Conners door and offered him the evidence. She sat very still while he absorbed the information.

Then he leaned back in his chair and looked her square in the eye. “Nice work. I can tell you’ve given this a lot of thought. I also see where I missed important details yesterday. You’re right, it makes more sense to face the situation head-on. I guess I hoped the problems would resolve themselves. But obviously,” he pointed to her synopsis, “I was wrong. I’ll talk to Rob this afternoon. If you have anymore problems with him, please let me know right away. I’m sorry to put you through this.”


Not all difficult situations between female supervisors and male subordinates are handled in this way. And not all should garner the same action. Each individual circumstance must be weighed by its own set of facts, by the people involved, and with well-mapped considerations.

A wise woman will use her natural skills to manage men depending on the situation. 

Sometimes a softer approach offers the ability to reach peaceful conclusions with little more than a submissive response to a man’s demand for respect. She sacrifices her ability to call him out in order to let him save face.

But other situations call for a tougher stance. In some circumstances, or with particular men, they don’t hear anything but a powerful voice. If conditions require determined action, a wise female leader may have to stand for what she knows is right.

But regardless of how you reach a state of conflict, I believe there is only one way to guarantee success. Ask whether you should submit — or if you need to stand.

Consult God.

Repeatedly in the Bible, there is a pattern of success or failure, depending on whether a leader consulted God. Regardless if you are a man or a woman, this will determine the final outcome. For your good, the good of the company, and the good of the person you are in conflict with. We all need God if we want good results.

He who made the mountains, can make you to stand firm in what He knows is right.

Have you ever jumped into a decision without consulting God and regretted it?

Anita FreshFaith @ Work

Psalm 20:8 (NIV)

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.


Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her family.

Contact her via www.freshstartfreshfaith.org or anita.freshfaith@gmail.com


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