Today’s Solutions: April 21, 2024

Communication is more than simply the words you use; it is also about how you use them. Confident communication is more than a show of bravado. To come across as assertive without sounding arrogant is a delicate dance of words and tone. But how can you strike this balance? Here are a few smart tips to hone your language abilities and project confidence, courtesy of linguistics specialist Deborah Tannen.

Language complexity and confidence

Deborah Tannen’s research digs into the complex relationship between language and self-assurance. She insists that outward appearance, behavior, or language cannot truly tell whether an individual is confident or not. 

Her research shows that people with comparable degrees of confidence can express themselves in dramatically different ways. “An observer can’t know, period,” Tannen asserts. She goes on to say that “one cannot know from outward appearance, behavior, or language whether an individual has confidence or not.” 

Of course, even though language isn’t the only predictor of confidence, cultural beliefs frequently associate specific language habits with it. Being aware of these impressions can be beneficial, especially in professional situations.

Managing communication stereotypes

The context of workplace communication exacerbates the complexity of confidence appraisal, particularly concerning gender biases. Tannen sheds light on the double bind that often plagues women: “Assertive language in men is perceived as confidence, yet the same language in women is sometimes labeled as aggression.” This dramatic difference in how assertiveness is interpreted creates a small, difficult route for women to traverse.

Men’s forceful speaking is typically stereotyped in the workplace as a sign of strength and leadership. When women demonstrate similar linguistic tendencies, they frequently face the unjustified appearance of being overly assertive or domineering. Tannen’s study highlights the difficulties that women have in harmonizing their communication style within these rigorously set cultural standards.“Talk one way, lack confidence; talk the other, perceived as aggressive.” Recognizing and reducing biases in perceiving language tones might help to create a more balanced communication environment.

5 confident communication strategies
Apologize in moderation

While apologies show sensitivity, over-apologizing may indicate insecurity. Tannen proposes a change: replace superfluous apologies with gratitude. For example, instead of saying “I’m sorry I’m late,” say “Thank you for waiting to get started.”

Make direct requests

Differentiate between favors and direct requests, especially in professional situations. Tannen suggests being upfront in your request and avoiding the favor facade when it’s a directive. As an example:

– substituting “Can you do me a favor and lock the door?” instead of “Please lock the door when you leave.”

Control your tone

Keep an eye out for ‘uptalk,’ which occurs when remarks end in a rising tone, making them sound like queries. This habit arises from a desire for validation. Tannen suggests taking a direct approach or asking honest questions:

– Replace the phrase “I’ll get to this by the end of the day?” with “When do you need this by?”

Make time-bound requests

When making requests, include time frames to provide clarity and respect the other person’s schedule. Tannen suggests structuring requests with a reasonable timeline:

– Change the question from “Can you send me the meeting notes soon?” to “I’ll need the meeting notes by noon tomorrow.”

Practice patience

Communication confidence grows with practice. Experiment with language changes and solicit feedback to improve your approach. Remember, it’s all about striking a balance that works in different situations.

Embracing confident communication

Confidence entails more than just speaking assertively; it also entails maintaining a polite and clear dialogue. You can use language as a tool for confident and effective communication by limiting apologies, being direct in demands, adjusting tone, specifying periods, and rehearsing.

Finally, language is a complex spectrum of expression rather than a static code for confidence. Mastering competent communication is a path of refining your linguistic vocabulary and navigating the complex maze of perceptions. As you progress, keep in mind the age-old adage: it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

3 simple ways to save an extra $250 per month

Everyone loves to save money, so here are three easy ways you can free up $250 in your budget per month. Cancel subscriptions you ...

Read More

APA, AAPI, APIDA or AANHPI? The history and significance of the “Asian Americ...

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ― Lao Tzu By Arielle Tiangco Weeks ago, seated cross-legged on my couch, I ...

Read More

Playing video games benefit key regions of the brain

A recent study from Georgia State University found that sensorimotor decision-making skills were superior in regular video game players to those that didn’t play ...

Read More

Novel blood cancer treatment effective in three-fourths of trial patients

According to new findings from an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical research trial, a novel investigational immunotherapy resulted in successful response rates for 73 percent ...

Read More