Speak With Conviction – Is that OK?

Speak upI was interviewed recently by a journalist who wanted ideas on how women can be taken seriously in meetings. I offered a few tips, including one which I didn’t think was particularly contentious; “Change ‘Perhaps we should be looking at the impact this decision might have on future work?’ to ‘We need to consider the impact this will have going forward.’ Be definitive – not the ‘curious woman’ who poses statements she knows the answer to, as questions. The journalist then came back to me asking me to change the ‘declarative statement’ I had offered, because she thought it sounded too “aggressive.” Now aggressive is a word all working women run screaming from – it’s a worry that too frequently keeps us from speaking our minds in an effort to ‘play nice’. This journalist is a friend, but I went back to her and said that perhaps the reason my suggested change sounded aggressive was because, as a woman, directive statements and declarative tone was not something she normally used.  A day later, and on this same point, a friend, Janine Stewart, sent me this fantastically funny youtube video about the importance of speaking with conviction which sums it up even better than I can. Enjoy! For more stories on profile raising click here.

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  • http://reflectwomenset.blogspot.com/ Esther Haines

    Loved the video. Since I first learnt about being definitive I’ve noticed that I say ‘We should do x’ in some contexts and ‘I think we should do x’ with an unspoken ‘but, you may have another opinion’ in others.

  • Liz Kamei

    Loved this video! It really illustrates how the way we say something can impact the listener and potentially end up having less impact, like, you know what I mean?