Who, better than Gail Evans, could represent The Pioneer Communication style, in the series about Women Speakers

  • This is the second post, after Meg Whitman, The laser Light with a Big Smile, next will be about Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox. I will also write a post about the 12 Communication styles, based on the SPM profiling model. I’ve been using this integrative tool to provide feedback to corporate executives at Cranfield School of Management for more than 6 years and would like you to discover its implications in presentation skills.

I believe in the power of examples and picked 12 women leaders to illustrate each style of communication and leadership.

  • Key characteristics of The Pioneer Communication Style:

« Enthusiastic, expressive, bold, risk-taker, not discouraged by failures, daring, independent, ambitious. They do not hesitate to change their minds to adopt a new course of action. Full of confidence, brimming with energy, Pioneers bring to their organisation a capacity to initiate change and an ability to deal with the unexpected. » (from the Spony Profiling Model Feedback Guide)

  • Why is Gail Evans best to represent The Pioneer Communication Style?

Gail Evans has been in the playing field long enough to learn the rules of the game. She was a pioneer in The White House in the 60s and the 70s. She began working at CNN at its inception in 1980. By the time she retired in 2001, she was its Executive Vice President.

She’s the author of the best seller Play like a Man, Win like a Woman, famous speaker, teacher, and author of She Wins, You Win.

After her speeches, Evans wants the first question to be,
“When are we going to have a woman president of the U.S.?”
Her answer:
“The day women decide they want one!”

Watch her interviewed by Larry King about the unwritten business rules women need to learn in order to even the playing field.

What is her message to women?

  • You first need to know the difference between how a man plays the game and how you play it.
  • Recognize that for the time being, it’s still a man’s game!
  • Decide if you want to change the way you play.

Out of the 14 rules she lists for success, I highlighted 7 rules for communicating successfully:

  • Make a request. Asking is the only way to get what you want.Don’t take no for an answer. For women, no means « Absolutely not, how could you even ask! ».Men won’t personalize the no and they’ll keep trying.
  • Speak out. Men speak out a lot and make mistakes too. Talk and be yourself.Don’t strive to be perfect.
  • Speak up. Don’t ask for permission to speak. Learn to use the power of your voice effectively.
  • Toot your own horn. Get noticed and take credits for your accomplishments.
  • Wear your game face. Look as if you’re going to win. Girls are brought up to be nice, pleasing and anguish for others. Anguish in private.
  • Confidence is half the game.If you cant’ make it, fake it. Take risks. « When we make a presentation, we make sure that nothing is missed: thoroughly over prepared and over educated.The problem is that you’ll never be 100% ready » »
  • Sit at the table with the Big Guys. You can’t play if you can’t be seen. Make your presence visible and be fully present.One of the key to success is to show up!

« You are who you say you are. Pick your goal and convince yourself that you can be successful. Don’t complain or accept the role of the victim. » Gail Evans.

For me, I know I still struggle with number one, ask for what I
want, directly. I tend to circle around my objectives, and certainly
take no as an answer!

Now , your turn: Out of these 7 rules, which one is crucial for you, now, if you want to succeed?

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