10 Career Tips for Women. Number 3
Resolve to Speak Up Women are usually credited with being good communicators, with high emotional intelligence.
Yet it seems to be a commonly held idea that women talk too much. Researchers looked at a huge selection of business meetings and at the end asked everyone as they left who talked the most.
The men said ‘the women’.
They asked the women and they said ‘we did’.
The researchers said actually the men talked most in those meetings, not the women.
So what we can deduce from this in relation to improving our careers: that women’s talk is under valued or that we don’t value ourselves enough?
I suspect it’s because we women are trying to thrive in a male dominated business world where all custom and practice has evolved around male behaviours. Women don’t talk like men so we are therefore perceived as talking too much. We’ve even taken that belief on ourselves.
And that can hold us back in the world of work. Resolve not to buy into the ‘women talk too much‘ fallacy and make sure you give you opinion assertively and confidently. This may require practise but speaking up in a meeting as soon as possible is a good idea, as is getting some communication training. Or finding a way to practise this outside of work, maybe by volunteering to be a committee member, or giving a talk.
Before each meeting you attend ask yourself:
- What do I want the outcome of this meeting to be?
- What am I looking for from this meeting/interview etc? It might not be related to the actual topic at all.
- What is the message I need to get across?
- How can I succinctly give that message in a headline? This is really helpful when talking to mainly men if you want to get their attention first; save the supporting arguments for later.
- Who normally dominates?
- How can I make sure my contribution is heard?
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