In my opinion tall women have it pretty good. Whether they’re strutting down the catwalks of Paris and Milan or the high street in Skegness, they gain admiring glances; clothes hang off them stylishly and elegantly; sore feet must be a foreign ailment to them as high heels just aren’t necessary. And to top it all off, on average they earn more than their shorter female counterparts, according to several studies.
This created a bit of a debate in the Sequel offices on whether height really does make a difference in business. Being on the shorter side of life myself (5ft 3 ¾), I have always been very aware of people literally talking down to me. The connotations of being short can often be ‘cute’ or ‘pocket sized’ and while I can’t speak for all vertically challenged people, I do find myself stretching out my spine to full capacity when speaking to taller people in an effort to be taken more seriously.
I listened with interest to Russell Grossman’s presentation at the IoIC annual conference as he pointed out that most CEOs are more than six feet tall. Now considering that securing a meeting with your CEO is as rare as finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it’s not unusual to see people holding impromptu meetings with their CEO in a corridor as they stride towards their next appointment. Not only is it hard to keep up but eye contact, a key communication tool, is near on impossible.
Russell’s advice was you should always try to have your meetings sitting down. Not always easy when you are at the mercy of the CEO’s PA but it is far easier to get your point across when you are at eye level. Quite obvious when you think about it but it really could make all the difference.
This got me thinking. How do other internal communicators adapt their approach to deal with different situations and people? What do you pull out of your bag of communicator tricks to ensure you present yourself in the right way and are heard by your peers?
So I put it out to our Aspic LinkedIn community and IC peers and here were some of the responses: