In response to Sheryl Sandberg’s “ban bossy” campaign, which encourages young girls to want leading positions instead of stifling their inherent qualities of “bossiness,” life coach Barbara Pachter writes about how women in the business world can reaffirm their positions.
- Prepare for meetings. Be ready to contribute during the meeting. Men often are the ones who speak up at gatherings, and it’s their ideas that are adopted and adapted. Even if you’re of lower standing than most of the people there, allow yourself to be visible and your voice heard.
- Speak without permission. You’re not in middle school. You don’t have to raise your hand or open with “May I say something?” You’re an adult in the middle of a group discussion where you are expected to have input and your peers have already agreed to hear what you’ve got to say just by attending the meeting.
- Leave the legal pad on your desk. The men are most likely just listening while you’re taking notes like an administrative assistant. Simply put, don’t do it if everyone else in the room is listening.
- Hold firm on interruptions. When you are speaking and someone interrupts, do not ask permission to finish or fall silent. Say something like “Hold that thought,” “I wasn’t finished” or “I’ll talk about that in just a second.” Then, get back to what you were saying.
- Be succinct in your speech. In light of the previous tip, when you do speak, don’t give too many details. Don’t give others the chance to tune you out. Make your point and then stop talking.
— Adapted from “ ‘Bossy’ or Not, Business Women Can Handicap Their Careers,” Barbara Pachter, Pachter’s Pointers.