Our language fails to communicate our intent! Ladies, language is not what we learn in dictionaries, thesaurus or even Wren and Martins. Language is what others’ understand when we speak.
In this piece I’m sharing 4 statements I’ve heard in the recent past, where the language is not conveying what the speaker wants to convey. Perhaps could even lead to sabotaging their own career. A little bit of thinking, and rephrasing is what is needed to convey your real intent.
- “I’ve had enough of corporate world”
I heard this phrase when a lady was looking for a career change and wanted to move to a startup. It made me cringe. When talking about making a move into a new territory, any talk about wanting to move away from the old one is a big NO NO. Talk about wanting to move towards … like “I’m keen …” I’m looking forward to … “.
2. “I want to explore myself”, “I want to give it a try”
Again, who would offer you a new assignment, if you’re trying it out or exploring yourself. Whether it is asking for promotion, internal career change or exploring new career option. Stop the career HARA KIRI here.
The right way would be, to understand what is the organization’s / management’s immediate need. What are their growth aspirations? What are their current challenges? Listen ! Ask questions ! Reflect on your wealth of experience, explore the synergies and offer your strengths to support their aspirations. Once you find yourself in the right position, you’ll have enough to explore yourself
3. “I’m not chasing money”
The movies “Three idiots” philosopher Amir Khan says “Follow excellence, money will follow”. I’m totally in agreement with this statement. Excellence is what we have to chase. That’s something very difficult to achieve.
Volunteering statements like “I’m not chasing money” or “I’m not really too keen on money” will only contribute to the much talked about gender pay gap. Time to give up you Doctorate title of underquoting self.
Instead focus on your strength of “Learning ability”. Be confident, you can take any challenge head-on, learn and contribute in short period of time. You definitely know more than you think you know.
Bridging the gender-pay gap is the responsibility of each one of us. Let’s take charge, if necessary go and take a course in negotiation skills. Don’t just accept what is offered. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and ASK !
4. “I get all the challenging projects, but subordinates are vary of joining my team. They think I’m a task master”
Lady do you know what an envious position you are in. Empirical data suggests, women don’t get challenging assignments.
What you are talking about is commonly known as “double bind”, competence Vs likeability. If there is a choice between likeability and competence, I would take the latter as that is what is going to take me next level. Winning a competition of “most popular” ….. does surely not take me to next level in career. If you have the best project, team members will compete to be part of your team.
Steve Jobs never was able to win the popularity vote amongst his people.
Rephrase … “I can get work done and my organization believes in me”
Rephrasing is not rocket science; Rephrasing has the power to make you a rocket scientist.