You probably know that men and women are different! Because of this, men and women also use language differently. Today I want to share five things that women should never say in English, if you want to be taken seriously and speak so that people hear you.
Make sure you read until the end because I’ll share a link to another related video that will help you speak with confidence. I’ll also share a link that will help you save money on language lessons with a live tutor!
How Do Men and Women Speak Differently?
According to the Harvard Business Review, men and women have different ways of speaking. What’s natural for most men speaking any language is, in some cases, different than what’s natural for most women.
For example, as an English teacher, my coworkers and bosses were mostly female. But now that I’m running a business, presenting for funding and business grant opportunities, and investing in real estate (see my other channel!), I often work with all men. The biggest difference I see is that men are more confident. They are willing to be seen as “not nice.”
Learn How To Speak With Confidence
Most women have been trained by family and society to be “nice.” Actually, this is very old-fashioned, something that people did a lot a long time ago, but it is a way of doing things that doesn’t work now. Today, women work in almost all jobs that men do. Where does being “nice” get us in the world of work? Not very far!
Now, if you’re curious how you can drop the “nice girl” talk and use a more powerful vocabulary to get what you want, here’s how to speak to be heard.
Five Ways to Speak So That People Hear You
There are a lot of ways that words, communication, and language in general are used differently based on gender. Here are five ways to make yourself heard!
1. Don’t Say “I’m Sorry”
When you apologize all the time, it makes the other person seem more important than you are. Keep yourself equal in status by making your sentences positive.
Instead of saying, “Sorry I’m late,” try saying, “I’m glad I could make it.”
Don’t say, “I’m sorry you didn’t get the contract,” say, “I know you’ll get the next one.”
2. Don’t “Hedge”
When you “hedge,” you are being overly cautious, evasive, or vague. You are talking around the problem instead of addressing it directly. This happens when you use phrases like:
“something like that”
“appear to be”
Instead of hedging, say what needs to be done. Make definitive statements without worrying too much about the other person’s feelings.
Don’t say, “This report is sort of unclear.”
Say, “This report needs to be clarified.”
In the business world, clarity, directness and efficiency are what employers like to see!
3. Don’t Talk About How You Feel
Don’t use the verb “to feel.” Instead of talking about your feelings, simply state the facts as you see them.
For example, instead of saying, “I feel this is unfair,” or “I think this is unfair,” just state the fact. “This is unfair.”
4. Don’t Be Too Polite
Super-polite language is great in a social situation, but in a business setting, be more direct. Again, just state the facts as you see them.
Instead of saying, “I was wondering if I could have a word with you?” just say, “Do you have a minute?”
Instead of saying, “It’s time for the staff meeting if you’re ready,” simply say, “The staff meeting is starting now.”
5. Modal Verbs Are Not Your Friends
One way of being indirect or too polite is by using modal verbs. These verbs tend to soften the language and make it more polite. Just use the main verb without the modal, so your sentences will be shorter and more direct. For example,
Don’t say, “Could you please help Richard finish that proposal?”
Instead, say, “Please help Richard finish that proposal.”
Instead of saying, “Would you be able to work on Saturday?” just say,
“Are you able to work on Saturday?” or “Can you work on Saturday?”
6. A Bonus Tip!
Take the lead by saying “I” instead of “We.” For example, don’t say, “We could look more closely at this problem.” Show that you are willing to take responsibility and initiative by saying, “I’ll look more closely at this problem.” You’ll show your employer that you are willing to do what it takes to get the job done!
- How does your boss talk? Listen to him or her, and copy their linguistic style. You might just get that promotion you want!
- Don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements.
- Pick up a coworker’s idea and improve on it.
- Practice interrupting other people without feeling rude or embarrassed.
- Practice sharing opposing viewpoints.
- Have lunch with your boss.
- Don’t invite criticism. For example, don’t say, “How was my English?” or “Is my English ok?”
- Ask fewer questions – try and discover the answers for yourself.
Be clear, assertive, confident, and direct in your speaking. You can still make small talk to show your friendliness, and make jokes to warm up to people. But if you don’t think people are listening to you, or taking you seriously, try changing some simple grammar and vocabulary.
Two Speaking Styles
Style One – People who are comfortable speaking up in groups, who need little or no silence before raising their hands, or who speak out easily without waiting to be recognized
Style Two – People who politely refrain from talking until they are sure the previous speaker is finished, who wait to be recognized, or who are inclined to link their comments to those of others
People who communicate with Style One are more likely to be heard at meetings. Style Two people will do fine at a meeting where everyone else is Style Two. But it will be harder to be heard at a meeting with people who use Style One.
According to Psychology Today, “Men are more prone to interrupting a speaker or challenging a comment than women. They use more mechanisms for influencing or controlling the topic of a conversation, in line with their goals or objectives.”
Be sure to speak up and make yourself heard! Get that promotion or that step up in your career or your business with these simple tips for changing your English vocabulary and the grammar you use.
I highly recommend you try Lingoda for online English practice with a personal tutor, at your own pace and on your schedule! Use this link: https://bit.ly/SprintGabby, then enter the code SCHOOL19 to get 10 euros off of your registration!
Need more tips about communicating successfully in a business setting? Check out this post with 25 top phrases for business English.
If you liked this post, and if it gave you something new to think about as you learn and use English in your business, leave a comment below! Tell me how you use English at work. Don’t forget to check back soon for more posts about using English for business!