As women in the business world we often have to navigate through a variety of unspoken rules, so I am bringing one out in the open and giving you my take on why I think it should be broken. Flirting with limits can be a great asset but does it have a place in the business world?
Being nice has its advantages
Now I can be as ugly as the next person, but most of the people who have dealt with me will tell you that if they had to describe me in one word it would be nice. Now I may have an unfair southern advantage but I know that being nice is not a weakness. My packages get delivered earlier, my cab waits a little longer and my interactions with TSA tend to be less drama filled and flirting sometimes facilitates these little perks.
It’s a tool, like everything else
I don’t condone that you pull out your inner Jessica Rabbit and let her do all the talking, but as a consultant I have had the privilege to sit at the table with some powerful men. The one thing that I have noticed is that they employ all of their talents, even looks. I’ve seen them smile coyly at waitresses, flirt with the secretaries to get a task done faster and then there’s the wardrobe. So if done correctly, it’s a tool and sometimes it’s the only thing that will open the door. Your brain does the work, your smile opens the door.
It can backfire
Now flirting should be a selective tool, because no matter how far you’ve come there will always be some idiot that thinks you are less prepared because you have breasts. This is a situation where flirting with no clue can get you into trouble. I love that people underestimate me due to my looks, I love more the look on their face when they walk away from a conversation in awe of the depth. When flirting doesn’t set the stage for more substance, it’s a sinking ship.
As I watch the most powerful women in the world, I see one thing in common. They are not afraid that they are women. They make no apologies for the fact that they are attractive and part of that attractiveness is the fact that it shares space with an awesome ability. So what’s the verdict, is it right or wrong?