Danielle StricklandEmpowerment: Women & Men

Lesson 3: In this GrowthTrack session, you will learn how to identify and confront a situation where a leader is misusing power.

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This session will focus on Danielle Strickland’s insights into THE WAYS LEADERS MISUSE POWER. In her talk, Danielle identified a number of ways that power can be misused.

In the videos below, Danielle discusses two of the most common:

  • Intimidation and emotional abuse
  • Minimizing, denying and blaming

In her talk, Danielle described various ways that leaders misuse power. The videos below describe how you can know you are in an abuse of power situation and the steps you can take to combat it. Watch the short videos and then move to the questions below.

Characteristics of Leaders Who Minimize and Blame

Danielle Strickland helps us understand the ways we can identify leaders who are abusing their power.

Confronting a Leader Who Abuses Power

Danielle Strickland provides practical advice for confronting a leader who is abusing power.


1. In her talk, Danielle listed out a number dis-empowering behaviors that impact the ways women and men interact in work, ministry or other settings. Of the following ways she discussed, mark the ones that you think might be operating in your context.

Then write the name(s) of the person or people who are using those tactics.

  • Coercion and Threats
  • Intimidation
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Isolation
  • Minimizing, Denying & Blaming
  • Economic Abuse
  • Male Privilege

2. What is the result of these dis-empowering behaviors in your context?

3. Danielle outlined the following steps you could take to confront a leader who is abusing power.

• Make sure you are safe – and if you are not, just get out
• Write down specific behaviors
• Bring someone with you

How do you feel about confronting a leader who is abusing power in your context?

4. What would it look like for you to follow the steps that Danielle outlined in your situation?


This session probably hit you in one of two ways:

1) There are major issues with power in your context. If that is you, take time right now to follow Danielle’s steps. Write down the specific abuses. Identify a support person to take into the confrontation. And make a concrete plan to confront the abuse.

2) The power issues in your context are more subtle and you want to learn more about power dynamics between women and men. If that is you, take this week to interview a person of the opposite gender than yourself in your context. Power dynamics can be experienced differently by different genders. Take on a learning posture to discover what their experience is like. Look for ways your experience is similar or dis-similar to theirs.

Suggested interview questions:

  • Do you see differences in the way men and women are treated in our context?
  • What challenges do women face?
  • What challenges do men face?
  • Do you see differences in the ways women and men are able to fulfill their career, ministry other aspirations in our context?
  • Is power sometimes abused in our context? In what ways?
  • What could be improved in our context for women and men to work better together?
  1. Christy Laurenzo
    Dec 5 2018 7PM
    Right now in my work context our only issue is a bit of male privilege by virtue of our key leaders being male. Then tend to think of other men for key leadership positions until a woman (me) starts pointing out women who could do just as well, at which point they are very open. It is more like an oversight. Since I started speaking up we have gone from an all male Business Council with one token woman to 50/50, with women taking the lead on most projects. We also hired a female Youth Director although one male pator thought we should only interview men. She is doing an amazing job.
    If you are in an abuse of power context, I have been there, and I am praying for you today. It is very hard. I finally left when it started affecting my health. Praying.

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