There are some conflicting views about whether women should minimize the use of weak language; words such as ‘just’. A few years ago Ellen Petry Leanse, former exec at Google and Apple (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-say-ellen-petry-leanse) noticed that women use the word ‘just’ frequently in emails, conversations and emails. She felt that this was a ‘permission’ word that put the other party in a position of authority and control. Shane Ferro, writing in Business Insider (http://tinyurl.com/zkjutoy), disputes Leanses’s claims saying that women should not have to self-regulate everything that they are saying since this in itself undermines their confidence.
Whatever your natural communication style, it is important to ooze confidence, so consider how you introduce yourself. What impression do you want to make? What do you want them to say and think about you? Do you stand up straight, look people in the eye and shake their hands warmly but firmly?
- Think about what you want your reputation to be. What behaviours will reinforce this brand? Make sure that you look and act the part. For example, if you want to be promoted take actions that demonstrate that you are capable of operating at that level and people will start visualizing you there.
- Before meeting new people rehearse your introduction. Reflect on both your career and personal life and think about the things that you want to emphasize. What language conveys what you want to say best? Practise saying this out loud until you feel comfortable and sound fluent.
- Listen to how other people introduce and present themselves. What words do they use? How do they sound – confident or shy? Which people do you take more notice of? Why? Try to incorporate these lessons into your own style.
- Practise introducing other people. What information do you need to know? What seems important to them and to you? How can you convey who they are in a succinct way?
- See meeting new people as an opportunity to build your external network and build valuable connections and relationships with interesting people.
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