Is being pushy the only way to get promoted? – Emma Bishop

It is deemed, there are two types of people in the world; extroverts and introverts. Both are needed and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Extroverts can be perceived as being arrogant, dominant, pushy and loud, introverts can be seen as being quiet, shy, thoughtful and un-opinionated.

At the end of the day, these perceptions come from how we deliver what we are trying to say. There is the research that says 10% is what you say, 30% is how you say it and 60% is body language. After all, actions speak louder than words.

So why is it that women are seen as pushy? To get yourself heard in some industries and organisations, you do have to stick your head about the parapet. You need to be confident and ensure your opinion is heard and taken into account. Sometimes this requires more effort than others.

Trying to get a balance with sharing your opinion and being ambitions Vs being respectful of others, can sometimes leave people thinking they are being pushy.

As a manager are you more likely to pick the quiet person in the corner getting on with their work, or the assertive person, providing ideas and sharing their opinion? It depends what you are looking for.

The negative connotations of the word ‘pushy’ don’t help. If you are confident in a meeting to stand up and challenge, this is being assertive, not pushy. If you are clear about your next promotion and are driven to achieve this, great, I don’t see that as pushy.

As Sheryl Sandberg said, ‘next time you see a little girl in the playground sticking up for herself, tell her she has Executive leadership skills’. After all, why would we condone a boy behaving aggressive, because he is ‘a boy’.

Contentious as this may be, evidence shows that in the same scenario, a woman is deemed to be ‘pushy’ yet a guy behaving the same is ‘assertive’?

Being pushy is different from speaking with confidence and I think and have seen both introverts and extroverts speak out, with confidence.

When people are passionate about the subject or career driven, this can be seen as pushy. If people know what they want and go after it, I say good for them. Having your voice heard is important, so make yourself heard! As long as you do it in the right way, people will admire you for it.

Be yourself, after all, everyone else is taken!!

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