By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager
As diversity and representation in the workforce increase, it’s becoming more imperative, especially for women, to be intentional about different communication styles.
“You're not just able to make sure your voice is heard, but you're also making sure other voices are heard,” said Tiffany Crosby, CPA, CGMA, MBA, chief learning officer, at The Ohio Society of CPAs.
Crosby will be speaking at the upcoming Women, Wealth & Wellness Conference in July on “Crucial Conversations—Dialoguing for Impact,” covering how to have meaningful, and sometimes tough, conversations.
As she’s observed in meetings over the years Crosby said she’s seen how women can sometimes fall back on speaking in generalities, be indirect and conflict-averse during important conversations. She said it is critical women find ways to engage in tough conversations that still feel authentic to them, without backing down in these situations.
“It's not always about some lofty objective,” she said. “What type of environment do I want to establish with that communication and how do I want to engage that person? What other perspectives might I need to pull in and bring into this so that we can achieve that outcome? Where might I be missing the mark?“
Crosby said thinking of all these perspectives might seem like a lot in the beginning, but eventually will start to happen automatically. Even when firing off quick email responses, she likes to take a moment to think about the undertones of her messaging and if there are opportunities to be had in this conversation.
“I've taught myself to pause and ask, ‘What else can be accomplished by responding to this message?’” she said.
At her upcoming session in July, Crosby said she hopes women realize how strong their voices are already.
“They don't have to soften their voice or weaken their voice,” she said. “They can develop relationships in a way that fits with their style and that's comfortable for them, but that still allows them to engage in conflict. And walk away feeling good about the conversation.”