Say What?! 3 Keys To Successfully Communicating Your Way To The Top

July 16, 2014  |  

Have you ever felt like your well-heeled pumps have pumped the breaks and now you’re stuck in a mediocre position? Consider this thought: successful women not only know what office keys work. Savvy women know which communication keys work!Most of us aren’t quick to admit that our work-life communication should change.  After all, we’re great at telling our significant others what we need, letting our kids know who’s boss, and reminding all non-drivers to stay in their lanes. No doubt we have some skills, but even the most adept communicator can deliver a more polished performance with some tweaking.

As African American women, some of us only equate success with measurable and quantifiable skills. We think that the post-grad degrees, second languages, or IT certifications are our ticket to the top. These and other specialties are defined as “hard skills.” Like The Jeffersons, we’re fine with “moving on up,” but are hard skills enough for us to get our “piece of the pie”?

Consider the fact that hard skills may get you in the job, but great communication keeps you in the job. What does it take to communicate effectively?  Consider these three success keys:

Key #1-About Face:   We may never speak a word, but tell-all facial expressions say a mouthful. Our face tells colleagues whether we’re having a good day, bad day, or don’t-say-a-word-to-me day. Now all of us wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but smart women master their emotions and don’t let their emotions master them. The next time you do a mirror check to get your MAC in place, make sure you’re wearing a smile and not a frown.

Key #2- The “Eyes” Have It:  Let’s face it, we all know that African-American women can say 50 words with 2 eyes! Many of us aren’t even aware that we’ve “read” someone with a single look.  The next thing we know, they start rolling and the rest is history.  Why not harness this power and make it work for us? Try looking at someone directly in the eye when speaking; this tells people that they matter and their thoughts are valuable. In moments of intimidation, refuse to look down or let your eyes stray to a safe place. Want to change your future? Then check your eyes.

Key #3 – Say My Name:  Destiny Child’s 1999 hit popularized the fact that a name has power. Regularly choosing to use a colleague’s name in a professional setting reflects your attention to detail and relationships. A quick glance at a name badge is all you need to boldly repeat that person’s name in casual, networking conversation. What employer wouldn’t remember an interviewee who learned to correctly pronounce their hard-to-say name? William Shakespeare once asked, “What’s in a name?” For women climbing to success… a name is everything.

Remember the right key will open any door in your office. Let your communication keys open your door…to success.

See you at the top!

Contact  Michele Roseman on Twitter and Facebook. 

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