From the chronicles of a female CEO with a Voice that could be heard…
Out there, in the real world, we still don’t have huge numbers of women speaking up with clarity and courage. We are not sure what this sounds and looks like. Not enough examples. Women are accused of being aggressive or get called nasty names when they ask for what they want and set boundaries. In our society it is still expected that women give and give until we are empty. I am not saying to stop being generous, I am saying that our Voices absolutely matter and that we must put our own needs first in order to perform at our peak with plenty left over to give to others.
A report from LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company entitled “Women in the Workplace 2016” shows that numbers for women are lower than for men in many areas. The areas of my focus are of speaking up, of being heard, of feeling that our input is taken seriously. 56% of women say they are turned to for input on important decisions compared to 63% of men surveyed. On the question are able to participate meaningfully in meetings, women’s answers totaled 67% compared to 74% for men. Not bad, but we can do better!
When we communicate using words that work, that inspire, our brain chemistry mirrors trust and the result is creativity. When communication arrives at that deep, conscious, co-creative arena between two people, the brain of each person literally starts to look like and entrain with the other person’s. Talk about one mind! (For more studies on this Google the amazing Judith E Glaser and her life’s work Conversational Intelligence, or C-IQ).
So..what does a WomanSpeakingUp sound (and look and feel) like?
- She is respectful and inquisitive
- She is confident in her elocution
- She is clear about her message and is intentional with her words
- Her Voice is rich in vocal timbre and speech content
- She is engaging and interesting
- She is fully present and credible
Start small. Write one poem and deliver it. Write one speech that touches another. Become a WomanSpeakingUp!