13 Communication Tips for Women in Leadership Roles

Here are 13 quick and easy tips for more effectively communicating with the guys in your office.

1. Know the Difference between Assertive & Aggressive.

Women in the business world walk a fine line between being assertive and too agressive – and you could probably toss timid into hte
• Assertive = you’re ok and I’m ok
• Aggressive = I’m ok, but you’re not ok
• Insecure = you’re ok, I’m not ok
3. Avoid Minimizers – be more direct:
• Minimizers include: But, Just, Little, Raise Voice, Casting eyes down, Fidgeting
4. Body Language communicates 56% of the message – tone communicates 37% and your words only communicate 7% – if you only listen to words, you miss 93% of the message!
• Focus on expanding & speaking from your diaphragm
• Sit up straight
• Don’t cross your legs & arms
5. Speak up in the first 5 minutes of a meeting – communicates you are present, involved & have something to say. Practice by jumping in on the heels of someone else’s comment, or force yourself to speak a certain number of times per meeting.
6. Don’t accept interruptions
• I’d like to finish my thought, As I was saying, Reclaim your idea, preface your statement with “I have 3 points I want to make”
7. Talk to people who may not agree with you before a meeting – have discussions of ideas before a meeting to get support.
8. Hearing is NOT listening – try to actively listen.
• Stop
• Repeat in mind
• Anticipate
• Summarize / Repeat Back
9. Ask for feedback / criticism – be specific with your request.
• How am I doing with listening
• How am I doing with leading productive meetings
10. There are 2 reasons people become difficult
• Don’t feel appreciated or valued
• Don’t have control
To work better with these types of people, give them choices (a or b), make them feel appreciated (use their name, give thanks), hand over control.
11. Never say no at the beginning of a sentence – automatically makes someone defensive.
12. Never say “I don’t know” – keep control, be proactive “That’s a great question. Let me find out”
13. Say “What questions do you have” not “Do you have any questions” (sparks conversations)

About Paul Richlovsky

Paul purposefully merges a creative writing and teaching background with his decade-long marketing career. He advises clients on content strategy, editorial direction and PR/distribution. He is a perpetual critical thinker who has written/edited hundreds of blog posts and multiple long-form marketing guides, including those aimed at audiences as varied as healthcare, higher education, financial services, B2C brands and manufacturing. With a BA in English from the College of Wooster, he is also the author of a collection of poetry, "Under the Lunar Neon."He gets really excited about the science of elite performance, usability, brand voice, headlines, digital governance, ballroom dancing, bachata, racquet sports, and romping with his niece and nephews.

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