Boundaries and Communication Skills for Women in the Workplace

Why can’t a woman be like a man? Why is it that women need a different strategy to be successful when working with men or in a male-dominated company or business? How come women can’t just do what we feel comfortable with and break through the glass ceiling?

There are three reasons, just for starters:
  1. Men don’t like questions. Women do.
  2. Men don’t have high-pitched voices. Many women do.
  3. Cultural expectations are different for men and women. Women are raised to be nice. Men need to be right, which is why many men don’t like asking for directions and women can’t figure out what the fuss is all about!
Start with one technique you can use right now to improve your communication skills with men

Stop asking questions. Instead use statements or simply give instructions. You can practice right now with your husband, mate, or children. Instead of saying, “Hi honey, how was your day?” try this, “Hi honey, tell me about your day.” Notice the subtle difference. You will not be asking a question, but instead giving an instruction. Men do really well with simple, specific instructions, and don’t be afraid to be specific.

Try this at work on male colleagues and bosses and you’ll instantly get better results.

When you go into a meeting with your boss, avoid asking any questions and instead convert everything into a statement. Instead of saying, “What changes did you want me to make to this report?” say, “Tell me what you wanted me to change.”

The moment a man hears a question, their hackles go up unconsciously, so this new style you adopt will put men at ease. It will take some practice on your part to get used to it. So, get your male friends to remind you every time you ask a question. This way you can practice converting it into a statement.

For example:
  • Tell me… is a good starting point. Tell me what you most liked about my presentation.
  • Instead of asking, when would be a good time to meet, say, “Let’s set up a meeting for Friday at 1 pm.” This makes you come across as more confident and more directive.
  • Instead of saying, “Can you clarify what you mean? I didn’t understand.” Change that to an instruction: “Please explain your third point about the sales figures.”

Men associate questions with weakness.

Are You Sabotaging Your Career Unintentionally?

I’ve just gotten back from my first trip to Dublin. While there, I gave a talk for Morgan McKinley entitled: Break through the Glass Ceiling: Communication Strategies for Women in the Workplace. This seminar was so popular and caused such a stir that I thought I’d make it available to the population at large. Yes, even men! In this webinar, I share with you the biggest concern the attendees had: how to set clear boundaries. I also reveal a number of mistakes women unintentionally make that sabotage their careers.

First, let’s explain boundaries.

A boundary is simply something people can’t say or do to you any longer. You can make up any boundaries you need to be your best. Boundaries are essential to career success and, contrary to what most women think, are essential to getting promoted. If you don’t have boundaries or they are weak or inadequate, you will be taken advantage of, stepped over or even stepped on. You will become a doormat, in effect. Doormats don’t get respect and they don’t get promoted. So first step is to expand your boundaries so that they are much bigger than you think you need. Generally, men are much better at setting boundaries than women and I’ll explain why this is the case in the webinar.

Common boundaries you might want to install if you don’t have them in place already:

People can’t:

  • Waste my time.
  • Interrupt me.
  • Be late when meeting me.
  • Yell at me.
  • Take advantage of me.
  • Be rude to me.
  • Make sexist remarks or jokes around me.
  • Call me after 9 pm on weeknights.
How to install these boundaries without coming across like a prima donna?

Listen to the webinar and find out. Alternatively, you can read either, Coach Yourself to Success or The Secret Laws of Attraction for a simple and effective 4-step communication model on setting strong boundaries. Whatever you do, make sure you have strong, firm and clear boundaries in place both at home and at work to set the stage for your raise or promotion.

Are you frustrated when nobody listens to your ideas in a meeting?
Have you been overlooked for a promotion?
Are you close to that glass ceiling but just can’t seem to break through?

If so, the webinar, Break through the Glass Ceiling: Communication Strategies for Women in the Workplace. may be right for you.

In this one-hour webinar, you will learn:
  1. 8 ways women stunt their careers unintentionally
  2. How to set boundaries gracefully
  3. Why women can’t use the same strategies men use to advance their careers
  4. How to build your confidence at work
  5. How not to take things personally
  6. Ways to use the voice of power
  7. How to speak and be heard: 2 simple ways to get your point across
  8. Ways to get the respect and recognition you deserve
  9. How to attract the best people and opportunities effortlessly

Click here to watch the webinar Break through the Glass Ceiling: Communication Strategies for Women.

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