Search our Site

I hated being a boss. In fact, I was not a good one. The problem... I was too nice. I didn’t want to be perceived as a bitch or hurt anyone’s feelings. Clearly that didn’t work out too well. I was taken advantage of and took on much of the workload because I didn’t manage correctly.

I’m not the only one that this has happened to. Even though there are more women than ever taking on positions of authority and leading teams, there is still an unspoken fear among many. They are worried that their confidence and management style will come off as bitchy and cold.

Fast-forward to where I am now and things have changed dramatically. I have learned from my mistakes. After a lot of reading from women in high power positions, I have learned how become a boss without being a bitch. Here’s how you can too.

Keep Emotions Out of the Office

Many women are emotional and that’s okay. But, we need to “Manage our emotions as well as we manage our staff, says Caitlin Friedman, author of The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch). We can’t let them see us sweat. If we show our emotions, the staff will be stressed and our level of respect will dwindle.

Don’t let your emotions get in the way of making smart decisions. We obviously don’t want to upset our employees, but we need to address situations before they get out of hand. Remember, it’s your business and you have to do what is right for you.

When addressing a situation, always be calm and start off on a positive note. Use constructive feedback, state your case of concern and ask them if they understand or have any questions.

Be Fair

This is the number one piece of advice that I can offer. If you want respect, then you must be fair. Treat everyone equally and with respect, and in time, it’s likely they’ll return the favor. Don’t ever let your position of power go to your head.

Set Your Expectations and Be Real

Your employees can’t read your mind, so you must tell them what you expect of them. Set the tone and clarify your expectations. Most bosses will have high aspirations and you need to express that you want your employees to rise to meet your expectations. With that said, if an employee ever has a problem, they need to know that they can come to you. An open door policy is one of your strongest allies.

Don’t try to be someone you are not. If you are nice, then be nice, but just make sure that you have established a level of respect. Don’t manage based on fear. Manage on expectations. Manage to get results.


You must listen and support your employees. This is critical. Your employees must know that you care about them professionally and personally. As a boss, you should know their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the type of environment that makes them the most productive. Personally, you don’t need to be their best friend, but you should have a pulse on the basic elements of their non-work life. Make it a point to check in with them on a regular basis.

This Isn’t High School

Don’t ever talk negatively about an employee to another employee. This is business between you and that staff member. Don’t start rumors or reveal to your employees that there are individual problems or issues within the office. If you act in this manner, your employees will lose respect for you and you will become that “bitch”.

Stop Saying Sorry

I dare you to count how many times women say sorry. I’m guilty of it, but I’m working it. Apologize when needed, but not for everything under the sun. It makes you look weak and less confident.

Confidence is Sexy

Confidence will yield respect. The more confidence you have, the more employees will respect you. The more confidence you have, the easier it is to land the clients you are striving to attain. Girl, just own it!

Find a Mentor

Being a boss is difficult and stressful. You are not alone. Connect with another person in your position. They will become a sounding board and someone to lean on. You would be amazed at the advice that they can give you. They are the only ones who will understand what you are going through and will give you real advice. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for my mentor. I owe so much to them.

Bosses have an extreme amount of pressure. It is a challenging, but rewarding job. Learn from your failures and always get right back up. Remember, if you are a good and fair boss, you are not a bitch. Just don’t ever let anyone walk all over you.

Alison Maloni is a media expert, speaker and owner of Alison May Public Relations. The former journalist is also a moderator and keynote speaker on storytelling, reputation management, social media and crisis communications. The mom of three is also a contributing writer for Thrive Global. You can find Alison on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and on Snapchat @AlisonMayPR.

Nike recently made a very bold move and it’s blowing up on social media. Many athletes, actors and millennials are supporting the brand’s decision to have Colin Kaepernick as the face for their new “Just Do It” campaign.

While others are disgusted with Nike’s move as they burn sneakers and boycott the company. Nike has and will lose a large percentage of their customers due to this campaign. Nike’s shares fell 3.2% as the boycott grew and I expect them to lose more money this week.

However, as they have lost customers, I don’t see this hurting the company long term. This campaign was a very calculated decision. Nike’s target audience is younger consumers. And those are the customers who like and buy from the companies who take a social stance.

Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America told ESPN that the new version of the campaign is meant to specifically speak to 15-17-year-olds.

More and more companies are taking a social stance because they believe that's what their customers want. 

A study in January revealed that 66 percent of consumers want organizations to take a stand on political and social issues. From H&M to Pepsi and Ben & Jerry’s we continue to see big brands share their beliefs in their marketing.

But is mixing politics and social issues a smart move for brands? While it may work for some, I believe that it can be a slippery slope for many.

As a company, you have to be ready for the ramifications, customer loss and negative press. You must ask yourself if it’s worth it.

I recently had a conversation with my twelve-year-old daughter about dating and falling in love. I knew that it would be coming, but I wasn’t exactly ready for it. I mean who is?

As my firstborn informed me, things are not like they were “back in the day” when I was her age. I just turned 42 and in a child’s mind, that’s REALLY old. 

For her privacy, I’m keeping our conversation out of the blog, but I do want to share some advice that I gave her. A lot of this advice was given to me later on in life and I wish that I had gotten it sooner. But, I believe all girls should hear something similar to this.

Fall in love with yourself first
You can’t love someone else until you love yourself. I want you to look in the mirror and smile back at that beautiful girl. You are beautiful inside and out. You are smart, strong and have such love for your family and friends. You must see that before a boy does. 

Always be you
A boy should like you for who you are, not for who he thinks you should be. Pick a boy who falls in love with your soul first. He must love you for your inner beauty, your intelligence, your sense of humor, and your compassion for others. That is what attraction should be.

Don’t chase a boy
You want a boy with self-confidence who is not afraid to ask you out. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think that girls should not chase boys.

You will have your heart broken
You will hurt and it doesn’t get easier as you get older. Give it time and turn to your mother, sisters, and friends for support. Crying, friends and ice cream will help.

Don’t rush
This is true in every aspect of your life. Take your 20’s to enjoy your life, career, and friends. Don’t be pressured into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Regardless of what boy’s say, you are not cool if you take part in certain things.

Never let a boy make you feel unattractive
It takes years to build self -confidence and a boy should never let you feel unattractive. If he does, move on- immediately.

Perfection doesn’t exist.
Nobody is perfect. You are not. I am not. And boys are not. You must accept their flaws and love their other qualities.

You will know when you are in love. He will build you up, he will be proud of you, he will smile when he sees you, he will brag to his friends about you, he will be faithful, he will hold your hand, he will tell you that you are beautiful when you have the flu and he will do anything and everything possible for you. And you will do the same for him.