The astounding power of femininity in business
Femininity is powerful in the world of business. Often, we tend to misunderstand femininity as inexperienced, youthful or sometimes too romantic for the business world. It's a complete myth. When we are in leadership roles in the business world, dealing with C'suite crowd, sometimes we tend to lose our natural femininity and behave like men. That may look strong and authoritative at first but remember, in someways womanly qualities are just more powerful. Women are naturally composed, vigilant, and sometimes a lot of emotionally intelligent.
A woman does not become strong by imbibing masculine values in a business. So, there is no point in imitating men and their behaviour just to come across credible in the business world. You can very well dominate the boardroom and still be feminine. A few tips to remember:
1. Positive entrance and eye contact: Remember always to enter the boardroom with a strong presence. Strong doesn't mean a facial expression without a smile. It's contrary. Enter with an appearance of elegance, and an approachable facial expression and a composed and authoritative body language. Acknowledge everyone with a smile and greet politely before you take a seat.
2. Business greetings always: Completely remove 'Hi', 'Hey', 'Hello', 'What's up!' , etc. in a business environment. Leave it for after-hours chit chat. A business environment is always a business greeting, which is 'Good Morning', 'Good Afternoon' or 'Good Evening'.
3. Business Introduction: If you are introducing yourself to a colleague, a subordinate or anyone at work, always stand up, come around the table and introduce yourself. Don't lean across the table and offer a handshake or greeting. It's an etiquette faux pas. A good introduction is the key to build your first impression, make it a good one. Remember, business etiquette is different than social etiquette, it's gender-neutral, and women and men are equal in following the rule of precedent. Business introduction
precedent always follows the rules of hierarchy only. So don't expect your male colleague to treat you under the social etiquette precedent. You, too, need to be mindful of the same.
4. Seating order: Take your seat slowly, feel composed while seating. Don't rush, don't fidget and do not enter the boardroom with a coffee cup and not to knowing where to place it. Looks fashionable in American TV series, but not professional in the real business world. Place your bag on the right side of your chair, on the floor or at the back of your seat. Never on the boardroom table.
5. Facial expression and body language: Remember to keep your head shakes slow and deliberate. When we tend to over nod very quickly, it reflects a lower level of confidence. Make use of composed and controlled hand gestures. When you throw your hand too frequently, it shows anxiety, nervousness and lack of control. Take up some space with your body around you. This is a sign of a confident and authoritative body language. Do not slouch, do not rest the back. Always seat upright and be very mindful of your posture.
Till next week, #beextraordinary
Konkana Bakshi is founder of Savoir Faire Academie and former Miss Elegance World