A few years ago I read, "Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office", by Lois P. Frankel. At that time in my life I was reading a lot of career development books for women; some were helpful and others made me feel overwhelmed by the amount of “steps” it might take to climb the proverbial ladder. In Frankel’s book, she mentioned the notion of women using touchy-feely language in the workplace and how we should learn to be more direct. What is touchy-feely language?
She gives three examples:
1) “It feels like we should…”
2) “I might…”
3) “How would you feel if we…”
Examples using more direct language:
1) “I believe it would be best to…”
2) “I intend to…”
3) “What would you think if we...”
Both sides pretty much say the same thing, but the second set of sentences are more assertive and they make stronger statements. As women we have to be intentional with our messages, values, and who we are by choosing language that conveys a stronger message.
Frankel gives a lot of helpful pointers, and here are four tips that you can start using right away:
1) Practice using declarative statements like: I think, I believe, I propose, and I intend
2) Take more risks around stating your thoughts
3) Develop more business like vocabulary
4) Don’t completely get rid of touchy-feely language, just be more discriminating with how you use it