Answers Activity 14
again while you
check the audio transcription.
SUSAN: Er, hello ... could I have your attention, please? thank you, thank you. With us this evening we have Kate Grantly, an expert in communication, and as your programme states, she's going to talk to us about how to be more assertive in the workplace without coming across as, er, aggressive. Kate, would you like to begin?
KATE: Thanks, Susan. You're all probably aware that women's ideas tend to be taken less seriously than men's, and there are a number of actually quite good reasons for this, which you may not be aware of and are mainly to do with your speech and behavioural patterns. Just imagine yourself in a meeting. You want to make a point and, smiling agreeably while keeping your eyes on your papers you say: "Er, this may he obvious, but perhaps it would be better to concentrate on marketing strategies. I mean, I'm not positive about this, but it seems logical to me." Your suggestion is perfectly valid, but no one takes you seriously because you seem very unsure about what you're saying.
First of all, are you smiling too much? In the animal kingdom, smiling is a way of appeasing a more powerful animal. Constantly smiling while discussing a serious subject gives the impression that you are apologising for what you're saying before you've even said it. Among humans, smiling while making a serious point puts across a 'please-like-me' message that undermines what you are saying. Of course, being serious all the time is not very credible, either. Smiling at the appropriate time is the key to getting your point accepted.
Another aspect where women tend to go wrong is agreeing too readily. If you nod regularly while someone is making a point, then the assumption will be that you agree. If you then question the point, you won't be taken seriously. The best way to get people to listen to you is to maintain a neutral stance until the time comes for you to have your say. Another tricky area is the use of disclaimers and diminishers. Phrases like "I don't know, but or "This may sound obvious, but ..." not only draw attention to you personally, rather than to your ideas, but will also make your audience feel impatient and unwilling to listen. Sticking to phrases such as "I'd like to suggest ..." and "A better idea might be ..." will ensure that you get a serious listening. You may think it's impossible to change these types of behaviour, but as soon as you become aware of them you're on your way to making a positive change.
The presenter suggests that people
sometimes may appear
when they only want to be
Kate claims that views put forward
by women are often not considered as
as those of their male
Women's lack of
assurance is often revealed through how they speak and their
use smiling as a way of
when discussing a serious subject you should not smile, as this
It is generally
assumed that you are in agreement with somebody if you
as they speak.
If you want people to listen to you,
you should adopt a
Peppering your speech with
disclaimers and diminishers only serves to make others
to pay attention.
By changing your way of speaking
and behaving you will be able to increase your
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