Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of information for how women can embrace more assertive personalities in the workplace, make themselves heard, and manage better work-life balance.
Women are also expected to defer to others by not taking up space in professional or social environments. This is not only a major contributor to the pay gap, because it decreases the possibilities for promotion, but it sets a dangerous norm in which women feel that they need to take up less space at work.
Because of this, women often struggle to hold their ground with men and stand up for themselves. Occupying space, physically or metaphorically, is a powerful skill and feeling that gives women more confidence and assures them that they “deserve” to be there.
To claim space effectively, you must practice respect. Here are some tips:
Maintain Good Posture
Posture is a key component of claiming space because it exudes confidence and demonstrates how you feel about yourself and how the world feels about you. People with good posture typically look more approachable and may get to know coworkers better.
There’s also a subconscious component. Women who have good posture and look at people directly don’t cower, refer, or intimidate easily. When you stand up tall, other people have to look you in the eye and acknowledge your presence.
Even if you’re home alone and just using audio on a work call, it’s always good to practice good posture. Your coworkers may not be able to see your posture, but your confidence will come across in your voice and demeanor.
The voice is a powerful tool both in and out of the workplace. Your voice is used to perform your work, to some degree, and find solutions to problems, but it can also be used to advocate for yourself. With the right tone, a voice can show strength or weakness, combativeness, submissiveness, and more.
Online, your voice is your primary means of communication. It’s all the more important for you to use your voice effectively to gain your voice back. If someone talks over you or interrupts, speak with conviction to bring the conversation back to you.
Body language is a big part of communication and confidence. Most people notice the way we carry ourselves and how we interact with others, even without words. This can also affect someone’s level of focus or interest.
Think about it – most of us can tell if someone is ignoring us or not really paying attention to what we’re saying. Body language is powerful, and using strong (but approachable) body language boosts your physical presence.
Find Your Space in the Workplace
Women had to overcome a lot to regain their voice in the workplace and get the recognition they deserve. Now, women need to reclaim their space in the workplace to harness confidence and ensure they’re seen and heard each day.
Do you want to rediscover your confidence and claim your space? Work with Allison directly!