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How to be Three Times More Productive and Valuable at Work

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Turn Gender Bias into Influence

Gender bias is a reality in today’s workplace. Here’s just one example: A recent study by VitalSmarts revealed that women’s perceived competency drops by 35 percent and their perceived worth by more than $15,000 when they are equally as assertive or forceful as their male counterparts. Keep in mind that assertive men are also punished, but to a much lesser degree.

This kind of emotional inequality is unfair and needs to be addressed on many levels. Now the good news: individuals can take control of the situation. In fact, we found that those who use a brief framing statement that demonstrates deliberation and forethought reduce the social backlash and emotion-inequality effects by 27 percent.

There are three basic framing statements to help reduce social backlash and the negative effects of emotion inequality. They are:

• Behavior Frame: “I’m going to express my opinion very directly. I’ll be as specific as possible.” This works because it sets an expectation and makes sure the statement that follows doesn’t come as a surprise. This frame helps eliminate the negative conclusion.
• Value Frame: “I see this as a matter of honesty and integrity, so it’s important for me to be clear about where I stand.” This frame works by giving a positive reason for the emotion. In fact, it turns the emotion into a virtue by turning it into a measure of commitment to a shared value.
• Inoculation Frame: “I know it’s a risk for a woman to speak this assertively, but I’m going to express my opinion very directly.” This works by warning observers that they may have an implicit bias. It causes them to try hard to be fair or adjust their judgement in an effort to be fair.

Expressing your intent before making an assertive statement softens the blow and helps erase some of the negative connotations associated with speaking up.

To learn more about how to turn gender bias into influence, attend Joseph Grenny’s session at the ATD Conference on May 24. For more information, go to www.twentyeighty.com/atd.

From the Road

Influencer 2.0 Source 1

The U.S. Women’s Ski Jump team made their Olympic debut in the 2014 Socchi Games. While they did not medal (the three members of the team placed 10th, 15th, and 21st), they had thousands of fans cheering them on, including the youngest member of the U.S. Women’s Ski team—twelve-year-old Zia Terry.

Two years ago at the tender age of ten years old, Zia was made an honorary member of the U.S. Women’s Ski team. How did this precocious youngster ascend to such a lofty honor? She jumped. Literally. Zia became a YouTube sensation thanks to her GoPro helmet-mounted camera recording her first ski jump on the forty-meter hill. The video includes an inspiring one minute and forty-nine seconds of Zia’s charming, courageous self-dialogue as she prepares to jump. It has received over 2 million views on YouTube, 1.3 million of which came within the first ten days of the video being posted.

When asked about her interest in ski jumping, Zia referenced the U.S. Women’s Ski Team website, saying, “I’ve been following my dream, like I saw on one of their web pages. It said, ‘follow your dream, not mine.’ That’s what I’ve been doing.

David Maxfield, who lives not far from Zia in Park City, UT, saw this engaging example of a brave young girl trying something new and knew we needed to include it in the new version of our Influencer Training course—Influencer 2.0. You’ll find her video in Source 1, illustrating the strategy of increasing personal motivation by “Just trying it.” Take a look at the video now and consider what you may want to “just try!”