Have you ever felt your height (or lack thereof) has hindered your confidence or respect? If so, you’re not alone. Recently while hosting a live event, an accomplished, professional business woman asked:
“I’m the only female on a senior level team. I’m barely 5 feet tall with heels. And I often feel that my value is being dismissed. I can’t suddenly become six inches taller! What can I do to feel more confident and be more respected?”
I get it. Being only 5 feet, 2 inches tall myself, it’s easy to feel height-challenged, especially in business situations. One day early in my career I was lamenting these exact feelings to a trusted, female colleague who was dozen years older and much wiser.
“I’m afraid I’m not being taken seriously,” I told her.
I will never forget her response.
“Oh, that won’t happen once you open your mouth” she stated without a blink of an eye.
I laughed! Instantly I realized I was setting myself up for feeling “less than” when I didn’t need to.
And instantly I started dwelling on these 3 behaviors that every business woman can use to feel more confident and garner more respect:
- Remember who you are, what you have accomplished, what value you bring to your company or client. So, hold your head up high, relax, and smile. That’s confidence from the inside out.
- Don’t buy into societal beliefs that women aren’t respected. Make your beliefs based on your experiences, not the aggregated statistics or beliefs of others. Chances are you have been shown respect far more often than not – by co-workers, friends, family, neighbors, grocery store clerks, toll booth tellers, waiters, receptionists, and more. Act as if it will happen again and it will.
[bctt tweet=”Make your beliefs based on your experiences, not the aggregated statistics or beliefs of others.” username=”BodaciousMary”]
- Open your mouth. My friend was right. My words, tone, and delivery – along with non-verbal body language and dress – are far more powerful and have far more influence on others than how close I am to the floor. Same goes for you, short or tall.
And for those who are on the short side like me, here’s a bonus:
- Utilize the advantages of being shorter. You’re often considered more approachable and friendly. You are also more easily underestimated. Which makes it easier to start conversations with people and over impress them! I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of over-delivering.