Develop the Diva is about how women communicate their value. All 21st century leaders have a myriad of communication challenges. Men and women leaders have different challenges. The challenge is not Mars versus Venus. The challenge is that women “get in their own way” differently than men” get in their way”.
The word Diva inspires different reactions. Some women say they want to be a Diva, or they don’t want to be a Diva, or they think they already are a Diva. Webster’s defines Diva as a "goddess, a fine lady." The term often describes a person who, although irritating, cannot be done without.
Women leaders need to communicate with the clarity, conviction, and confidence to move their agendas forward in negotiations and other forms of communication. So I refer to it as Developing the Diva Within. First identify and then use the skills that women possess. Often women don’t recognize these as skills and don’t leverage them to empower their communication success.
The key to successful communication is to understand that the audience drives the communication, not the speaker. The speaker needs to talk in a way that the audience will “get it”. It is not incumbent on the audience to understand the message. In the business world, women are often talking to male audiences. Hence they need to speak in a way a male audience will “get it”.
Original Seven Steps to “Get Out of the Way” of Your Inner Diva
Tips to Develop the Diva II
- End Sentences with Voice Low and Strong
- Don’t Talk Through Defining Moments
- Be Empowered in Word and Action
- Have the Confidence to Ask Questions
- Obligation to Pass the W Test- Why you, Why now, What manner
- Use Scalpel of Clarity—Mercilessly
- Begin at the END. Be Your Own GPS
1. Use rhetorical devices to connect with the audience
. Easy to use examples are: If you could see what I see, the simple truth is, you deserve to know.
2. Be a Sharkette
- no one gives up power willingly. Don’t ask for power, you take it. An illustration of verbal uncertainty is the use of tag questions. Instead of making a statement that can stand alone, female employees may add a short question at the end:
“The meeting starts at nine, doesn’t it?”
“I think the project is coming along don’t you?”
In sharp contrast to the communication style of men, which seeks to establish and maintain status and dominance, women's communication is more egalitarian, or rule-by-consensus. You could say the female mode prevents women from displaying excellence.
3. “If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevancy even less”, General Eric Shinseki. Being irrelevant is far worse than being ineffective
4. Visual-how women and men communicate differently
. The visual aspect of communication involves varying levels of body expression, with women usually functioning at high intensity. Faces are animated and hands are in motion, often touching others. These characteristics may make women look hyper and emotional.
Men are more conservative in facial movement and body contact. Women as the speaker may want to reduce the intensity of their visuals.
Men tend to be unreserved in sitting styles: sprawling, stretching and spreading out. The intensity level drops for women in the sitting position -- they tend to draw in, keeping arms and legs close to their bodies. Women could make their presence bigger when sitting with men. Women tend to sit across from each other and men sit next t each other. Think where to sit when speaking with a man.
It's not hard, to see the potential problems when men and women communicate.
Women create feelings of closeness by conversing. Men create closeness through activities.
5. Women tend to be more verbal than men
. Women think in terms of words and emotions. Research shows that women typically have a need to express about 25,000 words per day, while men express about half of that--12,000.
Most of the e-mail women send are more verbal than those of men. Their email revolves around relationships: being supportive, making suggestions, apologizing, asking questions and offering thanks.
Men's e-mail messages are very different. Not only do men more often portray themselves as subject experts, but they have a more contentious interaction style.
For women, compliments are a way of reaching out to one another, an offer of affirmation and inclusion. Men will not seek out compliments because they want to avoid being critiqued themselves. Naturally, these differing approaches complicate communication.
IT’S COMPLICATED, BUT WHEN DID THAT EVER STOP A DIVA?
Imagine—there is an inner diva waiting to get out. However you define her, let her out, get out of her way, and give your Inner Diva her voice.
Although irritating she can not be done without.
Leslie G. Ungar, president of Electric Impulse Communications, Inc, coach, speaker, and speechwriter. We Build Better Bosses. Order 100 Tips in 100 Days at our website www.electricimpulse.com