A Strong Powerful Woman in the Workplace

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ALAYNA FRANKENBERRY, the inbound marketing manager at Blue Sky Eto. It’s a marketing company. Wrote this opening sentence in an article on the content factory.

“Right now, 476 of America’s most powerful business leaders are focused on their work. They’re negotiating deals, driving hard bargains and demanding results. They may even be denying promotions, dressing down sales execs for failing to meet a quota or sternly notifying an assistant that it’s time to clear out his desk. They’re doing all of this without the slightest fear of being called a B word. Why? Because they’re men.”

Hello and welcome to difficult happens. We’re living in a defensive time where people are triggered to just react on a daily basis, in the workplace with our coworkers and even our clients, at home with our family members and even out in our community. Understanding why we act and react the way we do and improving our communication skills will help you connect and communicate with others in a whole new way, which will ease the stress and tension inherent when you walk around defensive or in a defensive environment.

Today we’re talking about this phenomenon of calling strong, powerful women Yachie’s. Do you ever worry about this? Many of us, especially those in corporate America have a very valid struggle that most their counterparts never experience. One that often holds them back. They temper their responses and hold in their input. There is a real fear of being perceived as or labeled as the B word and it can sabotage your success. We all want to be thought of as intelligent, assertive, or at least confident and to be shown respect.

This is not too much to give, to get, or expect. I would want nothing less for any of my children, your children, or any person for that matter. So how do we get there? How do we achieve this? One person and one conversation at a time, by inches? We travel miles. Part of me struggles with this and I’m going to tell you why.

As I was doing the outline for this show, I started thinking of ways that you can communicate better, but it puts the onus on you, right? There’s a part of me that’s like, that’s, that’s your problem. If you think I’m a Yachie, I’m getting stuff done. However, that’s not the reality for a lot of us. If you are a millennial or in a one down position at work, you can’t go in there with a take it or leave it kind of attitude. Sometimes you have to teach people how to treat you, and I hate that, but that’s the reality of it.

I remember when Tina Fey on Saturday night live when she and Amy Poehler used to do the news, uh, someone had called her, I think I called her or someone in the news, um, the B word and Tina said, yeah, I’m a, Yachie, you know why? Cause Yachie’s get stuff done. Okay. She used, you know the words, but that sentiment is true.

I was speaking earlier this week with Olga. I was on her summit for the entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial mom, you don’t, I realized I used the word entrepreneurial a lot and I always get stuck on it and I got to, I got to practice that more. Anyway, I was on her summit, which had 20 experts over a, I think a 24 day period. Um, I called the entrepreneurial mom and she was talking about when she was in corporate and how she’s clear. She is, um, from an eastern block country and she just doesn’t have a lot of affectation. But people would often call her the B word or think of her as being gosh so aggressive. They didn’t take into account her culture where she was from and her personality type.

So if this is something that you’ve struggled with within your community or at work, I’m going to give you a couple of tips. Number one, try pre framing before you talk to someone. Sometimes we’ve been thinking about something, maybe it’s a solution to an issue and we’ve got it all figured out and we want to impart that information. Well, the other person, this is the very first time that they’re hearing it and they need time to process that information. Also, some people just process information more slowly or in a different way, so if you do some pre framing by opening up like what you’re going to talk about and the issue that you saw and how the solution plays in instead of just coming right out with a solution, if you know what I mean, you can walk that person there. It also gets into the fact that people process information in different ways.

I myself am a verbal processor. I like to have a discussion a back and forth. That’s how I process information. Other people, they take in information by reading it or consuming it somehow. I talk a lot more about that in episode 48 what you need to know to build rapport with people with Nikki Rausch, she was my special guest. She’s the sales maven, so if you haven’t, you might want to check out that episode and you can bring in that information to help you pre frame.

All right, number two, be open and slow down. Sometimes we’re thinking in a much higher, faster pace, but when it’s time to include other people in the conversation or in a meeting, you need to be open and you need to slow down.

Number three, use your physicality. There are many, many ways that you can do this. Make eye contact, nod in confirmation when something is correct.

Be genuine and don’t force a smile if it’s not natural. When I was younger, like 20 or something and just getting started out in my career, there were many older male colleagues who would tell me to smile. Looking back, I do not think it was malice. Sexist, yes, but as I discussed on last week’s episode, episode 54 millennials are from Mars and boomers are from Venus. There’s a lot more going on than intentional superiority, right? But you don’t want to force a smile if that’s not genuine to you. Being genuine trumps everything. You can also use your physicality when talking to someone else instead of confronting them face on and confront often has a negative connotation. That’s not what I mean when discussing something with someone. You can both turn your bodies towards something else. I often like to have meetings where we’re walking or hiking or doing something physical because what that does is it puts your bodies both facing the direction that you’re going, which kind of brings up out the thought or the feeling that we’re in this together.

We’re conquering something together and number four, this gets along with all of the ones above the preframing, slowing down, being open and the using your physicality, but allow time to process. We all process at a different rate like I mentioned, but in order to do that, sometimes that requires silence. Just being quiet, which can be hard to do. We as Americans and as humans don’t like the void. We don’t like the empty spaces. We fill it up with words.

I used to use silence very effectively with my kids. Sometimes if you’re just quiet, they’ll fill in the blanks and often with the wrong thing. All right, number five, appreciation language. What is their appreciation language? In episode 49 how to build rapport? I talked about how people have their own appreciation language, just like a love language, and there are ways that people feel appreciated.

Sometimes you can show appreciation in the way that someone feels appreciated, even if you do it with a stoic face, right? Because it’s genuine. If you’re being genuine, it goes a long way.

And number six, mindset. Mindset can creep in at any time and what I mean by mindset is when you start to be your own worst enemy, when you start to have that, that nagging feeling, oh, they think this of me, Oh, I’m acting like this. Oh, they don’t like me. Whatever it is. You can have a positive mindset, a growth mindset, a negative mindset, and many times, actually, I’m going to say all the time, I’m going to go out there on a limb and say that everybody suffers from mindset issues around something. That’s just how it is. But when you check in with your mindset and check the facts, you may be able to move past that.

Just being aware of mindset issues. Will get you a long way. Remember the true seat of power is calm. When you can give information or talk with other people like you’re getting the time of day, especially difficult things, it goes a long way. The seat of power is calm. All right, so to recap those quickly, it was to preframe. Be Open and slow down. Use Your physicality, leave room and time to process, use silence. Be aware of the other person’s appreciation language. What? What’s the context of what’s going on and check your mindset.

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I want to thank Stacy, the busy mom for another five star rating and review of the podcast, which is also completely free and you can do it right there on your phone app. Stacy says Lara knows her stuff. Lara breaks down tricky, non tangible issues like triggers and personality into easy to understand information that anyone can use in their business, whether dealing with employees, contractors, or clients. Lara’s expertise is applicable and just about every situation. Thank you so much Stacy. I really appreciate that. I hope this episode has been abused to you and hey, do you have a question? Is there a topic that you’d like me to dive into? Shoot me an email that’s at Lara l a ra @difficulthappens.com. You can also just go to my website, difficult happens and click the email me now button or on Facebook you can instant message me. I’m pretty much everywhere at difficult happens. Thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it. And until next week, be honest, but kind be firm but fair and be in touch. You know, I love to hear from you.


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