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Food for thought from Sunshine


Visitors since August 22/99

Page last updated April 19, 2001

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How we as women communicate contributes to our image.  We sometimes are our own worst enemy and end up sabotaging our message and invite opposition.  Recently, while cleaning out my desk at home, I found a document that had been given to all the women I was working with from our employer.  I feel it provides some food for thought and has many valid points to make.  I am sharing it with you as I think as women we can benefit from what it has to say.

P.S. Our boss was a woman!

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  • Women seek consensus   We fear being seen as bossy and arrogant.  To men, it might look like we do not believe what we say and that we are incompetent, indecisive.  Say it with authority and confidence but with warmth.

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  • We are more concerned with being likeable  We fear if we say how we feel, we will be rejected.   However, we have a better chance at being respected if we say how we feel.

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  • We say what we know in the form of opinions  We fear that if we speak with certainty, this not acceptable and is perceived as being pushy.

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  • We worry about politeness   Therefore we often wait our turn to be heard and in some cases never get a chance to promote our idea, service or product.
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We worry about being described as assertive  We fear that we will be stereotyped as unfeminine and be labeled as an aggressive bitch.

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  • We seek approval  We use words like "you know", "okay', "right", "do you agree".

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  • We speak in words that do not project confidence Instead of saying "I think" try saying "It is my belief" or "It is my experience".  Use third party testimonials for supporting a point:  "My clients tell me that as a result of my services, they have seen the following results."

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  • We avoid confrontation by speaking too softly or ending sentences in a question mark  Men perceive women who speak too softly as insecure and negate the strength of their message.  Ending in a question projects the need for approval.

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  • We use humour in a self-mocking way   Men interpret this type of humour as if we are putting ourselves down.

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  • We hesitate to reply to avoid confrontation  Try using "Thank you for your feedback" to avoid head-on collision.  Reply: "However, I believe ... " Never use the word "But".

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  • We apologize as a way of speaking   I.E.:  "I'm sorry to take your time but ...".  This may be be polite but may also be perceived as a lack of confidence.


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