Communicating Assertively and Confidently as a Woman in Business
The ‘glass ceiling’ has a limiting effect on the ability of women to grow into positions of substantial leadership. This exists in any industry and gender equality at senior levels. And is an area of significant concern, that has yet to be achieved across most industries. There are exceptions, but they are few. So how can women communicate assertively and confidently in business?
Throughout this article some featured figures support the existence of gender inequality. However having the experience of over 25 years, working with women and coaching them at all levels, I believe this is a significant area for improvement. Women in business are learning how to communicate assertively and confidently in everything they do.
Women are predominantly leading community sector and major of the workforce is women. This is interesting as it is one of the few workforce areas that females populate more than males.
Tips to Communicate Assertively
- Say what you mean and mean what you say
- Be clear about the meaning behind your message
- There is a clear distinction between aggression and assertiveness. Although they are often confused. Aggression is intimidating, dominating and is about power and control by one person over another. Assertiveness means to stand to your calmly, putting your point across without raising your voice or getting angry
- Your body language amounts to 75% of your communication. Stand tall, shoulders back, looking at the other person. The way your body positions itself is critical in how others perceive your message so use it to your advantage
- Listen to what the other person is saying. Try and understand where they are coming from before putting your view point across. That way you have enough information to make an informed decision about what you want to say
- Think win-win. Communication is always most effective when both parties walk away, having felt that they have resolved an issue and both had their say and were heard.