Five ‘Power’ Essentials Every Working Woman Needs to Know
In our culture, many women have been socialized from an early age to behave and speak passively and seductively, and this socialization follows them right into adulthood and the workplace. According to Barbara Pachter, president of Pachter & Associates, speaker and author of numerous books, women need to pay attention to these five “power” areas that can reverse that to better impact their careers. This list is an abbreviated version of a full, free report that can be found at Pachter.com.
1. Become known as an expert Let people know of your accomplishments. Apply for professional and community awards—recognition money can’t buy. Offer to make presentations and submit articles to professional publications.
2. Pay attention to your nonverbal messages Stand confidently—with your legs aligned with your shoulders, feet four to six inches apart and weight distributed equally on both legs. Don’t cross your legs or tilt your head. Maintain proper eye contact. Speak loudly enough to be heard. Women often speak too softly, and what they say doesn’t register with others.
3. Assert yourself Prepare before a meeting so you know what you want to say. Speak early. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to voice your opinion. If you don’t speak up, you can become invisible. Use “I” statements. “I’m not understanding” versus “You’re not explaining it right.” If you act assertively, people will respond to you as if you are assertive. Over time, you build your self-confidence.
4. Dress professionally Clothing can enhance your professionalism or take away from it. To build a business wardrobe, start out by buying good-quality clothes. They will last longer, fit better and wear well. Look at what higher-level women in your company are wearing and you can usually copy their choices. Be cautious about modeling your clothing after women on television. (Policewomen chasing after bad guys in four-inch heels are not good role models!)
5. Find mentors, role models, and a network A mentor takes an active role in your career development, providing specific career advice. A role model is someone you learn from simply by watching his or her behavior or reading about the person’s accomplishments. A network is a group of professionals who help and support each other. A network can be your best friend if you’re looking for work or trying to navigate through corporate politics.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 2, Issue 2 (February, 2012).
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