Leadership Communication: Effective Communication Strategies for Female Leaders

effective communication by female leaders

Effective Communication Strategies for Women Leaders

Effective communication is one of the biggest cornerstones for business success. As a female leader, you will be responsible for setting the strategic vision and direction for your business, which you will then need to communicate to your team. For this reason, it is imperative that you possess the skills necessary to be able to communicate with others effectively and with influence. 

As a women’s leadership coach and mentor, here are some of my favourite tips to help women leaders who are wanting to become more effective communicators: 

  • Be assertive: As a female leader, it is essential that you come across as assertive and confident in all of your communications – whether you’re sending an email, meeting someone face-to-face, or talking to someone over the phone. This is something that a lot of emerging female leaders struggle with, as particularly when we are not yet confident in our abilities, we can tend to phrase things as a question or favour, or sound more like we are making a suggestion than making a decision or giving a direction.  

The key though is to be more confident in your communications so that you sound more assertive and decisive when you communicate. Rather than asking if it is possible for someone to complete a particular task, instruct them to complete the task by a certain time. You can still be polite about it, but phrase your direction more as an instruction, not as a question. 

  • Be succinct: Another thing that can happen when female leaders are first starting out is that they can tend to ramble on and use lots of “ums” and “ahs” in their communications. This is entirely normal, and usually means that you are not yet confident in your ability to communicate with confidence in your role as a leader.  

When you speak to your team, practice doing this in a way that is as succinct as possible. Say just the right amount – not too much, and not too little. That way, you will be covering all of the necessary information and most important points, without going into too much detail or rambling on so people start to “tune out”. When it comes to effective communication, a good rule of thumb is that less is usually more. 

  • Think about your non-verbal communication: When we talk about effective communication, the way that we speak is most likely to be the first thing that comes to mind. But did you know that around 55% of what we communicate is actually non-verbal? This means that we need to think carefully about the non-verbal cues and signals that we are giving off when we communicate, from our posture and facial expression to our body language and hand gestures. 

 As a female leader, some of the things you can do include making sure that you always make eye contact. When you make eye contact, this shows you are confident, whereas if you avoid eye contact, you may come off as weak or nervous. Likewise, when you stand up straight with good posture, you will look like a confident leader, but if you slouch, you will usually appear insecure or less confident. 

  • Don’t talk yourself down: Women leaders often tend to talk themselves down, brush off their successes, and dismiss their achievements. There are many reasons for this, including that women leaders who talk about their own successes are often seen as “boasting” or “tooting their own horn”. Despite this, being able to make your achievements known continues to be one of the biggest keys to success for women in leadership. For this reason, it is important that women leaders are supported to overcome their limiting beliefs to be able to talk more confidently about what they have accomplished and achieved. Whether you’ve won an award, completed a qualification, or achieved some kind of incredible result – congratulations! Know your worth, and don’t be afraid to speak out about the amazing things you have achieved.
  • Connect on a human level: A common misconception is that as a leader, you have to be somewhat “unattainable” to be taken seriously. Wrong! In fact, great leaders are the ones who know how to connect on a human level, and who aren’t afraid to be genuine and authentic in how they connect with their employees and the others around them. Whether it’s recognising staff and calling them by their names, sitting down with their team one-on-one to check in, or sharing personal stories and anecdotes to build that human connection, there are tons of things that female leaders can do to communicate effectively with their people.

There are many limiting beliefs that emerging female leaders tend to have – for example, that they are coming across as “arrogant” or “bossy” just because they are being an effective communicator. The good news is that by putting in the hard work and practice, it is possible to overcome these limiting beliefs and become the best female leader you can possibly be. 

Effective communication is just one of the many things that are typically taught as part of women’s leadership programs. By teaching up and coming and emerging female leaders about effective communication and other important soft skills, these leadership training programs aim to equip women with the skills they need to excel as a leader. 


Caroline Kennedy is an award-winning CEO with a track record of leading multinational companies with up to $250 million in revenue. She is also the founder of Empowering Women Leaders: Awaken the Powerful Leader Within – a transformative six-week program designed to help women master the art of leadership. If you’re ready to unleash your hidden potential and become the leader that you were always meant to be, find out more at https://www.carolinekennedy.com.au/womens-leadership-program/. 

Leave a Comment