Speak Like A Lady Get Paid Like A Man
Speaker, Trainer, &
World Class Certified Speaking Coach
Do you ever feel as if your communication skills are preventing you from getting the recognition, results and rewards you deserve? If so, you are not alone. I can remember a time in my life when I found myself needing to speak up to get the pay I deserved. Unfortunately, that day never came. I put my wants and needs on the back burner in exchange for wanting to be the “good employee.” The employee who never wanted to rock the boat so to speak, but in the end, not only did I rock the boat, I nearly sunk my own ship. I thought being loyal to the company by rarely missing work, maintaining a high level of productivity, always displaying a good attitude, but never asking for a raise, would get me the respect and pay I deserved-wow was I wrong. However, today is a new day. I now speak up. I don’t silence my need to be heard or well paid for my time and talents. I recognize the value I bring and the woman I aspire to be, and so should you.
According to The American Association of University Women, also known as AAUW an organization created to promote the equity and education for women and girls; has reported that, “in 2014, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 79 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 21 percent.” Now, although this data may not come as a surprise to some, it should be unacceptable to all. Why? It’s simple, women deserve equal pay, period. So the question is, what can you do to change the perception of your values, voice and views to be recognized as the force that you are-the answer? To speak up and use your voice in a way that will empower yourself to step outside of your comfort zone by owning every inch of who you are; the good, bad and the ugly to get paid what you deserve. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I do know you’re worth it.
Here are the 5 tips to, “Speak Like a Lady Get Paid Like a Man.
Tip #1 Redefine what you’ve been taught. I believe there are significant moments during our childhood were we as girls are taught to silence our voice by not speaking our minds so that others around us are made to feel comfortable or less threatened. As a results, this mentality teaches us to disguise our true thoughts and feelings leaving us to feel less empowered and inspired to become our authentic selves. For instance, girls are often taught that there is no place for assertiveness and by asserting ourselves we stand the chance of appearing unkind, which could lead to us feeling or being unwanted. On the other hand, Cheryl Sandberg the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and author of LEAN IN says, “From a very early age, boys are encouraged to take charge and offer their opinions. Teachers interact more with boys, call on them more frequently, and ask them more questions.” Not only does her findings illustrate factors to why girls silence themselves from their truths, but also societal changes needed to be made in order for girls to feel valued.
As a child, I can remember instances when I dared to stand up and express myself and the responses I received were, “ Excuse me, who do you think you are?” Or “This conversation is for grown folk you need to stay in a child’s place.” My point is, we as women shouldn’t be surprised at how we are conditioned to conceal or minimize our wants and needs. Now we fast forward to today, we want to be paid the same as a man for doing the same job, but because we hold on to self-limiting beliefs that make us feel as if we don’t have a voice, we never get what we deserve. Don’t get me wrong, there are going to be times you develop the courage to ask for more pay because you feel as if you deserve it, however, you still may not get it. Therefore, my goal is to challenge you to redefine those barriers people have created in your life so that you get to the point where you are able to simply ask for what you want. Now that you are aware, there is no need to be afraid. Keep speaking up and keep advancing to become the best version of YOU!
Tip #2 Find value in your words. First of all, I want to say, if you don’t find value in your words, no one else will. Therefore, before you even utter a word to ask for the pay you think you deserve you must believe with all of your being that what you have to say is worth hearing and that it’s going to make a difference. And the difference I’m talking about isn’t just about having more money in your bank account or enhancing your self-esteem or building your confidence, because when you ask for more pay and get it, it also makes a difference for other women.
Think about the other women you could potentially inspire to speak up by encouraging them to use their voice in a way that will create change, promote a sense of self- worth and the ability to feel as if they have an investment in their careers and personal lives. I guess you can say finding value in your words is equivalent to the Precessional Effect that the author and motivational speaker Jack Canfield talks about in his book, “The Success Principles.” He mentions that the inventor of the Precessional Effect Buckminister Fuller describes it as saying, “The honeybee’s seemingly primary objective is to obtain nectar to make honey, but while going after the nectar, the honeybee is unwittingly involved in a much bigger purpose. As it flies from flower to flower in search of more nectar, it picks up pollen on its wings and thus ends up cross-pollinating all the rooted botanicals in the world. Therefore, if you look at this example from a metaphorical perspective your honey is your money and all of the cross-pollinating that takes place can be viewed as you touching the lives of women so that they can bloom into an array of beautiful purposeful human beings by gaining the courage to simply ask for what they want- all thanks to you!
Tip #3 Speak with confidence. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re expressing your thoughts and feelings and you notice your body experiencing all these emotional and physiological changes? Such as, your heart starts beating faster, your breathing becomes shallow, you begin to sweat, or maybe you start to fidget with your hands? If this is happening to you, you have come to the right place because I am going to tell you exactly what you can do to speak with confidence to get the pay you deserve.
Be very clear about what you want and why. This is a strategy also known as having a scene objective. It’s often used by actors to get what they want during a scene or to put it simply, to win. Therefore, when you find yourself in a position to asking for the pay you deserve, before you enter into a conversation think about your objective. In addition, everything you say from that moment on should reflect that both verbally and non-verbally. Finally, if you want a raise, and you say everything under the sun, but ask for a raise due to your lack of confidence, it will prove to be ineffective as well. George Bernard Shaw, a Nobel-Prize and Oscar winning Playwright once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” So please save yourself the headache and simply ask for what you want without making assumptions. Otherwise, you may just get what you as for, which usually isn’t much.
Tip #4 Believe you will get what you ask for. I think half the battle to getting what you want is first believing it’s possible. You have to believe without a shadow of a doubt that not only are you capable, but that you are ultimately in control of your destiny. I really do believe this is where men in the work place excel because men are less likely to hold themselves back from getting what they want and are more likely to take a chance. Whereas women on the other hand, tend to do more planning and preparing to getting or asking for what they want because often times they never feel as if they are ready to receive it.
I want you to ask yourself this question, “How can I receive what I feel I deserve, if my hands, my heart and most importantly my mind is closed? It’s almost as if we talk ourselves out of what we deserve by using self- limiting talk and thoughts to hold us back. By saying things such as, “When I get this next project done at work, I’ll be better positioned to ask for a raise or if I do more volunteer work, people will begin to see how committed I really am or maybe I need to make myself more available after working hours or on the weekend for people to appreciate how hard I really work, THEN when I ask for a raise, there will be no question if whether or not I deserve it.
I’m not saying don’t do certain things to set yourself apart from other workers or to have a high level of standards for yourself, what I am saying is don’t get stuck thinking you are not enough, because when you get stuck, you stop making progress. Don’t find yourself putting off asking what you deserve simply because you don’t believe you’ll get what you want. There has to be a point in your life when you say, “I am enough just the way I am and another day or another project isn’t going to define or dictate whether or not I deserve what it is I want.” Will Rogers who was known for many things, such as an American Cowboy, an actor, a newspaper columnist and social commentator once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Let this be a reminder for you to stop feeling as if you’re on the right track by feeling the need to do more to be acknowledged because the more you do the longer you sit in place stuck thinking that you are going somewhere, but in reality it’s just an illusion. Be the force that you are and believe you will get what you ask for, and possibly more.
Tip #5 Say yes to their no. So you built up the courage to ask for the pay you deserve. You’ve implemented tips 1-4 and maybe you even prayed, meditated, or bought a lucky charm and still after asking for the pay you think you deserve, you hear the word, “No.” What do you do? First of all, don’t panic. A boss may have many reasons for rejecting your requests and sometimes it has nothing to do with you. Maybe their having a bad day, maybe they have to look at their budget, maybe they have a lot on their plate and now is not a good time to discuss your pay–who knows. However, what I do know is that we as women often take the word no personally causing us to feel rejected and discouraged and possibly influencing our ability to ever ask again. You don’t want that to happen, right? This way of thinking can cause you to do more harm to yourself than any boss could ever do. Why? Because when you give him or her that kind of power, you automatically lose and I don’t want you to lose. I want you to win at everything your heart desires. However, if YOU maintain the power, which is healthier for your personal growth and development, you’re more likely to yes to the word no by accepting it so that you can operate from the highest part of your being.
When you say yes by accepting their no, it’s as if you’re saying to them, “I hear you loud and clear. No we don’t agree and we don’t always have to, but I refuse to let your NO impact the quality or essence of my life. I will never let the numbers on my paycheck dictate my worth. My worth comes from within and that is something you did not give nor can you take away. However, I still believe I deserve more pay and although the answer is no TODAY, I am conscience of the fact that there is a TOMORROW” So remember if you hear the word no, don’t let it stop you from asking again. Finally, understand the importance of asking Why when you hear the word no. Why, is not your enemy. It shows that you have the ability to assert your thoughts and opinions and that you value who you are, even though you may feel uncomfortable and unworthy. The question why should be embraced and welcomed so that you are better informed and equipped to get the response and pay your deserve. Now Let’s Make It Happen!!
It is my hope that you will learn to speak like the lady that you are while getting paid like a man. You deserve it, now stop waiting and go get it!! It has been such a pleasure sharing these tips with you. I look forward to connecting with you and supporting you on your journey to finding your voice and becoming the effective communicator and leader you hope to be. You have what it takes, you just have to believe it’s possible and know that I am hear for you every step of the way. Whether it’s through private coaching, workshops, or newsletters, and more. I am here for you. So stay in touch by keeping up to date with all the resources and opportunities I bring your way. I want to hear from you. I want you to be part of this community. A community of women who want to make a difference by acknowledging the power of their words. You deserve to be heard and paid. So let’s make it happen. Let’s start closing that gap, but opening our mouths. Until next time, speak like a lady get paid like a man.