You are at your desk and a colleague stops by following up on a request. They are waiting for a report to be delivered or some essential output that you were responsible for. You turn on “good girl” mode and quickly respond in a sweet high-pitched tone that catches you off-guard. You eagerly nod and smile a lot assuring them that the deliverable is on its way and you have it covered. The colleague walks away satisfied with your answer. You take a moment. Was that you who was just speaking a second ago? Your voice is unrecognizable.
You are left frustrated wondering why you turned on the squeaky “good girl” voice.
What would you have said if you didn’t have the results ready? Could you navigate that conversation while still remaining upbeat and confident? Not likely very if you are turning on behavior which feels inauthentic.
As women we are often so eager to please and being amenable to others at work, that we turn on a persona that doesn’t match our true nature. We sometimes do this in ways that we speak which may leave the other person in a feel-good place trusting us, yet will throw us off balance because we are not being authentic in our communication.
Why is this a problem for your career?
I’m not here to criticize. Trust me, I get it – we all have our off days. However, I’m here to remind you that when you are walking, speaking or dressing in a way that isn’t aligned to your true personality, you lose confidence and power in what you know, because you are no longer grounded by who you are.
When your internal dialogue isn’t synched up and aligned with your external dialogue, you lose the ability to project a professional image that shows you as the expert you truly are.
Take a look around and observe successful women who already have the job you want. Listen to how they speak. Does their speech match their personality? Do they seem like their “turning on” to play nice-nice at work?
Your external dialogue lies everywhere – in your verbal expressions, your dress, how you walk, your hair and makeup – all unspoken ways in which you communicate in the workplace which drive how seriously you are taken and (yes) how memorable you are as a key female player in business.