Thursday, May 6, 2010

For Ladies Only: How not to act

Lisa Johnson Mandell, writing for AOL, talks about behaviors that keep women from getting ahead. These are credited to Mary Ellen Drummond.

These are the gestures that make you look vulnerable and fragile, rather than powerful.

Nodding your head while listening. Women do this to encourage the listener, but it can be taken for agreement.

Not taking up enough physical space. Men spread out (esp the “gate”). Don’t try to blend in (although opening the gate is esp bad form for women). When you sit at a meeting table, spread your papers out.

Uptalking is bad. When a woman’s voice rises questioningly at the end of a sentence, it can make her sound unsure or like she is waiting for a sign of approval.

Fidgeting. Women make 27 movements when they enter a room—adjusting clothes, jewelry, hair. Men make 12.

Women often tilt their heads when they talk. They think it shows they are directing their ear toward the speaker, but it comes across as deflecting the message, Make eye contact.

Women also introduce themselves too quickly. Wait at least 10 seconds. This is when people are getting set, checking each other out. Let it play out.

I often laugh nervously. Don’t do that.

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