Hello SOTGC community,
Have you ever been in a situation where you had limited time to get your points across and another person was sabotaging your efforts? Perhaps in a meeting or on a panel discussion?
It is frustrating when you have an agenda that is in conflict with another person’s agenda. The last thing you want to do is waste time responding to questions you don’t want to answer and lose the opportunity to get your points across. I experienced such a situation on national television when I was interviewed on Fox News about equal pay for women.
It was clear in the talking points I sent to Fox that I intended to discuss my view that if women are paid less than men, then we, as women, need to be smarter about how we save and invest the money we DO earn. It was also clear that I was a financial advisor and author – not a career counselor.
I came prepared to discuss my book and how women can take advantage of a 401(k) and IRA to build their wealth and close their own personal wage gap. But despite my expectations, the anchor continued to ask me the same question I didn’t want to answer over and over! I’m not a career coach or HR expert, and I didn’t want to look like a fool in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers.
As you watch the interview you can see the strategies I used:
- Stay Cool. I kept a smile on my face. A smile is disarming and deprives the other side of fuel. She couldn’t tell I was flustered.
- Pivot To Your Talking Points. I responded briefly to her questions and immediately segued back to what I wanted to talk about.
- Don’t Talk About What You Don’t Know. Do I know the best way to ask for a raise? Not at all. I didn’t want to lose my credibility so I gave common-sense answers and then pivoted.
The anchor wasn’t trying to torture me – she was only doing her job. After all, right before my interview, the station aired the debate between President Obama and Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers on legislative solutions for closing the gender wage gap. She didn’t want to spend the segment discussing investing … she wanted to know how women should negotiate a pay raise!
So the next time you walk in to a meeting to make your case, stay on your toes, keep your cool, don’t let others eat into your limited time, and make your points.