All About Connecting: Just for the ladies

By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

Although many of us strong, independent women don’t want to admit it, it’s still a man’s world. Moreover, without getting involved in the nastiness of politics these days, our rights, ladies, are definitely on the down-turn. Thus, I feel it is my duty to encourage every woman to start standing up for herself all day and all night. Not just in your dating life or marriage, or with family members, or in the consumer world, but most importantly, in the workplace. That’s right ladies – it’s time to put ourselves first!

Let’s Start in the Workplace: I always suggest to my clients to pay attention to three special strategies that will help them be more empowered in their work setting when dealing with men.

  1. Act like a lady but use your body language like a man. Let’s face another fact – men are visual. Yes, think about one of your male colleagues; you know, the one that struts into the boardroom, takes up the most space, spreads his computer and papers across the table, sits upright and leans forward when talking and uses his hands a lot when speaking, yet lounges back in his chair and puts his arms across the seat as if he is holding court.

Imagine, if you did all that while walking in with your gorgeous feminine skirt suit and bright red blouse, you’ll be sure to command more respect. People respond to body language more than the spoken word. It’s just a fact. So, ladies, start strutting your stuff, pause when you enter the room, take your time getting to your seat, and then take up as much space as possible. You’ll feel a difference immediately. And to think you haven’t even spoken a word yet.

  1. When speaking to men, speak slowly and deliberately, using less words than you would with a woman. Men can’t hear all the details and stories behind the story; and they don’t want to. They will just shut you out and ignore you. As I keep reminding my female clients at All About Connecting, men are visual. If you are in a setting where you are having a discussion, let the man speak first. Listen intently and don’t interrupt.

When he is finished, repeat back to him what you think you heard to make sure he knows you understood him. Then, pause for a few moments. The point is to respond, not react. There is a huge difference. The former is with emotion and that’s not the way to be empowered. If you aren’t sure how to respond, then just tell him you’ll think about it and get back to him later. Notice the “later.” Don’t put a time limit to it. Most men never do; that’s how they keep the ball in their court. However, if you do have a definite response, speak slowly and directly as if you were on stage. Make sure your voice is strong and confident sounding, even if he’s your senior. Moreover, make sure he really heard you and understood your position or idea. Again, don’t speak for long; you should probably suggest that you’ll send him an email to follow-up on your discussion, as most men are visual learners and it will serve you later if he says he never agreed to the idea.

  1. Take your time in responding to men’s requests. One of our clients said that the most empowering thing she did in the workplace with all her male colleagues was when she took my suggestion to respond to their emails the same time they responded to hers plus one hour. For years, she had always rushed to respond to any of their emails, and found it infuriating the way they seemed to disrespect her. A year after following my advice, she not only felt respected; the CEO promoted her three levels higher and she also met an amazing man whom she married. 

She told us at All About Connecting, that she used that very same advice when texting back with men online before dating, while dating different men, and even with the man she ended up marrying. Thus, she has felt very empowered in her relationship with her husband of four years now and going strong.

Here’s to us Ladies!

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