Covid has contributed to a cultural cry for LESS. Leaner closets. Cleaner cabinets. Clearer calendars.
But one thing we need MORE of is ladies in leadership.
From 2015 to 2020, the proportion of women in senior VP positions grew from 23% to 28%, according to McKinsey (Women in The Workplace 2020). But … facts … we remain dramatically under-represented.
To win or thrive at work, women must be engaging communicators! The same essentialist approach The Home Edit (Netflix) uses on pantries can be applied to weed out words … without having to buy anything from the Container Store.
Here are 7 ways to Marie Kondo a crucial communications moment…
- What’s Your Story?
Every time you open your mouth on a conference call, draft an email or present on Zoom … you should be telling a story. Your message should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Nothing more.
- Don’t Deep Dive
A Microsoft study revealed: human attention span is 8 seconds, less than a goldfish! Talk too much and your audience will tune out. If people want more information, they can ask for it. This is your movie trailer moment. No less — your elevator pitch. Even LESS — your postcard! Only highlight the best stuff.
- TWO Minute Motto
And if your work world has been thrust onto webcam–video only holds a viewer’s attention up to 2 minutes.
Your colleagues are distracted by kids, dogs … mucho multi-tasking. They’re also tired. According to a new study by the University of Gothenburg, Zoom Fatigue is on the rise. It’s worse for gals than guys. Researchers found 14% of working women in their sample were pooped versus 6% of men. So, help yourself and others stay alert: “be brief, be bright, be gone,” as PhD Lois P. Frankel put it.
- Hit ‘em with a Headline
A headline crystalizes your overall message. It should grab people. No preamble, no qualifying. Watch TV news. Hear how they open a story. It’s a drag, if you drag it out.
- TWO-THREE Key Messages
Identify 2-3 points that support your headline & help tell your story. This is “the middle.” They can be facts & figures, specific examples, juicy details, real world outcomes – avoid generalities.
- A+ for Authenticity
Another essential ingredient to effective communication is authenticity. Be human. How? Have energy. Move your body. Gesticulate. Use humor. Share personal anecdotes. It’s not just about being succinct, it’s also about being real.
- Fight the Fear
When was the last time you were held prisoner on a long winded team call or skimmed an email you didn’t have time to read? It’s not the norm in corporate to be concise. It may feel scary to simplify. This is change management. Be part of the wave, ladies.
As Shira Gill, author of “Minimalista,” said “Identify what is essential. Eliminate what is not.” All areas of our life, can benefit from curation — especially communication.
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