MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "'Isn't it true that women are better communicators than men?' That was the question that a female VP asked me over the phone today," said Anett D. Grant, President of Executive Speaking, Inc. "What was remarkable to me was how many 'ahs,' 'ehs,' and 'you knows' she managed to insert into that simple question – talk about contradictions!"
"Talk about myths that have been perpetuated in every media – with blatant disregard of the facts.
"Yes, after 34 years of coaching executive leaders to speak, leaders from companies including General Electric Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Consolidated Edison, Inc., Duke Energy Corporation, Bank of America Corporation, 3M Company, Ford Motor Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, AFLAC, Inc., FedEx Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, CBRE Group, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P., Coca-Cola Company, Cisco Systems, Inc., SABIC, Symantec Corporation, Waste Management, Inc., and Adobe Systems, Inc….
"After 34 years of working with leaders from countries including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Liechtenstein, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Colombia, Canada, India, Japan, Singapore, China, Germany, Australia, and Brazil…
"I am downright tired of the myths and stereotypes that keep being expressed in anecdote after anecdote, publication after publication. I am tired of listening to the same arguments for over 30 years, tired of reading so many versions of Leaning In.
"I've decided it's time to get down to the facts. So instead of sharing with you another heart-felt piece of personal history, I would like to offer you the facts:
"With painstaking attention to every pause, 'eh,' and 'ah,' my team researched exactly how men and women answer the question: What are the accomplishments you are most proud of? Specifically, we analyzed video interviews of 20 men and 20 women in leadership roles at Fortune 50 companies in response to the question 'In your career, what are the accomplishments you are most proud of?' We chose this question because inevitably when leaders interview for promotions, they will confront this question. While not identical, the men and women were comparable in title as well as the representation of type of industry. We transcribed the 40 responses from the interviews. In terms of content dimensionality, we identified five categories of accomplishment: use of numbers, positive monetary impact, mentoring, development of products or processes, and position or longevity. We also used the transcriptions to analyze first-person pronoun usage, gestures, facial expressions, fillers, and response length.
"What did we discover? Executive women undermined their achievements by:
- talking more and saying less
- demonstrating lack of confidence by beginning their answers with "ahs," "ehs," and fillers
- failing to speak analytically about their achievements when speaking in the personal voice – and
- cluttering their communication with gestures
"The only category where executive women outshone men was in likeability – as demonstrated by smiling more and having more facial expressions.
"The results will be published in detail in Business Horizons, the journal of the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, in January – but that's not enough. I want to share with you and your readers the facts – the glaring discrepancies that demonstrate that women executives in particular are sorely lacking key speaking skills.
"Yes, women's upward mobility may be influenced by achievements, and – of course – qualifications, but it is unquestionably impacted by the ability to effectively communicate those achievements and qualifications.
"If you would like to share breakthrough research with your audiences, to discuss these facts and my insights about how to address these gaps, contact me now at 612-338-5748."
Executive Speaking, Inc. provides intense, accelerated Private Coaching for senior executives who want to be great speakers.
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SOURCE Executive Speaking, Inc.