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Pitch Like A Girl: How A Woman Can Be Herself And Still Succeed
By Ronna Lichtenberg
Ronna Lichtenberg wrote Pitch Like A Girl: How A Woman Can Be Herself And Still Succeed to help women learn to promote themselves and get what they want in business and in life.
Lichtenberg writes: "A pitch is … using your influence, skills, and powers of persuasion to gain support and to get people to do what you want them to do. Pitching is about enlisting someone's support for your goals. It's about asserting your vision of what should happen, asking for support, and making it clear to the other party why it's in their best interests to come along with you for the ride. When you pitch, you are basically saying to someone, 'I need your resources to make my idea happen.'"
Lichtenberg points out that we pitch in many situations, not only in business situations, such as applying for a job, seeking a promotion, or trying to raise capital for a new business, but also in non-business situations, such as seeking to get the best medical care available or influencing one's spouse.
However, many women aren't natural self-promoters, and a lack of pitching skills holds many women back.
Lichtenberg writes: "…when we tell ourselves it's okay not to pitch, we give ourselves permission to be smaller, duller, and less complete than we otherwise could be. … Yet it's choosing to rip yourself out of your comfort zone that will make all the difference in your life. If you don't go where the fear is, you somehow live a lesser life."
Lichtenberg tells us that research into leadership styles shows men and women lead in different ways. Successful men tend to distance themselves from those below them in the business-food-chain and tend to take things relatively impersonally. For successful women, on the other hand, authority and power often come from connecting to people. The least successful women executives are those who try to imitate male leadership styles that don't match their inner style.
Pitch Like A Girl: How A Woman Can Be Herself And Still Succeed discusses many of the "brain sex" differences between men and women. For example, MRI brain scans show female brains tend to be better at multitasking. Women were "…always doing a zillion things at once: tending our own and others' children, gathering food and preparing it. Men, as hunters, needed to pay deep attention to the one critter that would become dinner. Our brains are still operating on the same wiring."
Research shows male brains tend to be stronger at systematizing, while female brains tend to be stronger at empathizing. Lichtenberg calls those who focus more upon relationship building the "pinks." Those who focus most upon the task at hand are called the "blues."
Men tend to be blues. Women tend to be pinks. But, Lichtenberg says many people have a "stripped" style, utilizing the strengths of both blues and pinks. And, some women, such as Martha Stewart, tend to have a natural blue leadership style.
Lichtenberg writes: "…you can even go for rose navy, aquamarine, indigo, fuchsia…(just don't tell a blue guy you think of him as a lovely aquamarine)" (or a cornball yellow). Men tend to have less color vocabulary than women. We also learn that men tend to interrupt more, being responsible for 98% of conversational interruptions.
Lichtenberg says that many women tend to pitch pink to blues and, thus, seem unfocused to the blues. Lichtenberg suggests that "In any business situation, if you can't detect the color of your prospect immediately, go blue."
Lichtenberg does a great job discussing motivational differences between men and women. While men tend to view success in purely financial terms, women tend to have a more complex view of what being successful means.
To help women learn to be more assertive, Lichtenberg develops the concept of "Me, Inc." which gives women "a way to toggle mentally out of a relationship perspective, out of responding to other people's feelings, reactions, and desires, long enough to get a fix on what is fair in the marketplace."
I highly recommend Pitch Like A Girl: How A Woman Can Be Herself And Still Succeed to both men and women who want to improve their pitching skills.