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Be Heard: Communication Strategies for Women in STEM

As a female engineer, online pills I know firsthand the challenges involved with communication in a male-dominated environment. Oftentimes, soft-spoken women are swallowed up in a meeting room filled with boisterous men. I was no exception.

 

When I was surrounded at project meetings by men with type-A personalities, buy cialis here they were, by nature, very dominating. That made voicing my opinions a real struggle for me. The men could voice their opinions easily and comfortably, without changing their inherent behavior. I, on the other hand, was forced to change my communication style in order to be heard. Listed below are some techniques for improving your communication style and allowing your voice to be heard!

 

  • Pump up the volume! Speak loudly enough to be heard in a noisy room.
  • Jump right in. Don’t be afraid to dive into a conversation when you have something to say. Sitting back silently does nothing for you or your future within the company.
  • Get outside of your comfort zone. Make yourself get involved in experiences that are challenging. Pushing yourself in situations outside of work will have a positive impact on overcoming the communication obstacle in front of you.
  • Speak to crowds. Get involved with public speaking through Toastmasters or another group. Facing your stage fright in a public arena will help you communicate more effectively in smaller groups with your colleagues.
  • Speak with groups of your peers. Join a professional organization or sit on a board. You will be given the opportunity to express your opinion in front of others in a safe environment, which will bolster your confidence in your work environment.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Take each and any opportunity presented to you to speak with or to people about your area of expertise. This will help you feel more capable and at ease when in an uncomfortable setting with your male colleagues. You know your stuff so don’t be afraid to say so!

 

Men have had the primary influence over what people think of as effective communication in most STEM disciplines and industries because an overwhelming number of these industries’ workers are male. Communication styles are not going to change the instant a woman walks onto the scene. In order to be successful and heard, you will have to adapt. It may make you feel out of place and uncomfortable at first, but with practice it will become second nature and people will listen when you speak.

 

Karen Purcell

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