5 things Katy Perry can teach women about communication


Originally posted in the Huffington Post

The first time I heard Katy Perry’s “Roar,” I knew it would be a hit. Though, truthfully, I wasn’t thinking about Billboard; I was thinking about the boardroom.

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything…

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

While it is always tough to generalize gender differences, there is much research to back up the fact that men and women communicate in different ways. According to Dr. Louann Brizendine, author of The Female Brain, there are physiological differences between male and female brains. “Women have 11 percent more neurons in the brain centers for language and hearing, which can have practical implications in the workplace,” she writes, such as when relationships are at stake or conflicts needs to be defused.

In other words, no matter the tune, men and women sing it differently and Katy Perry, as it turns out, can remind us of five ways to stay on key:

  1. Acknowledge the Need. “Biting your tongue” wasn’t a philosophy that worked for Katy, and it’s not going to work in business. According to a Monster.com special report, “Many women are conditioned by culture to maintain harmony in relationships. That conditioning is manifested in softened demands, hedged statements and a generally more tentative communication style. The important thing to remember is that tentative communication does not mean the speaker actually feels tentative or is lacking in confidence.” Recognizing that women are hardwired differently is the first step to address — and improve — communication style.”

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