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Communication is both verbal and non-verbal. If something doesn't quite click to set you off up the corporate ladder then, you may want to examine your Power Talk.

Women tend to get passed over because of their speech styles. They tend to end statements asking for approval, thus devaluing their opinions. Conversation styles are very important, for they determine who gets heard and gets credit for the good stuff. The style also determines respect and gets things done for you at work. Men don't face that many problems with office communication as their speech styles are very direct. They aim to get what they want without apologies.

The differences between gender speech give rise to miscommunication. It is a mistake to make the assumption that you're on the same wavelength. To clarify communication, it is helpful to repeat the request in your interpretation of what is communicated. That way, you are safeguarded in case things don't turn out as planned. You would be safe from blame.

Women's speech is weakened by their innate need to please, avoid offense or offer apologies. This communicates to the opposite party that women are weak or unconfident.

In some work places, men tend to speak dismissively to women, patronize them or undermine them in many ways. These are negative communications, which affect women by their negative impact. It amounts to sexual discrimination. In such cases, women have choices as to how they should respond. Usually, women fear to fight back to change these offensive communication patterns towards them. They fear reprisal from superiors or fear being radical feminists and being out of step with the rest of society. To change all that, improve your office communication by speaking up. It shows leadership and strength and wins respect from your peers.

If you are asked to take on extra tasks that are beyond your scope, just refuse point blank without any explanations. Leave no room for negotiations or persuasion.

When you are talked over or interrupted, continue your speech at the earliest possible break in the other party's talk without sounding rude. Emphasize your need to finish your speech. When you're heard, you get ahead in many ways. Your colleagues will respect your stand to be heard and your position will move one mark up in the eyes of others. If your superior is present, so much the better.

Grab attention by making attention grabbing "headlines" to qualify your point. Reduce the amount of explanations and extra qualifiers to avoid messing up your headline.

Remember that office communication includes formal and informal speech. Tune in to the messages you are sending to others and the image you are presenting. Once you are associated with that no-nonsense practical style, your communication improves and you get ahead.