I have been working home construction for many years now. One of the things I learned early is teaching people how to treat you. Walk tall and act as an equal. Speak up and speak your mind. Take the authority you deserve, it will not be handed to you, you have to earn it and take it. Make people clear from the start that you know what you are doing and that you belong. But do NOT ever be condescending to anyone at any level. Make friends. Showing intelligence and kindness will always take you far. You never know who you are nice to along the way that will have influence over decision makers. Often administrative people who are closest to the bosses are the most trusted. Women have always had to work harder to get where they are, this is not as hard as it was years ago but that stigma still exists so make it clear who you are and what your authority is and establish yourself as that boss immediately. I can not stress enough the importance of a simple STRONG firm handshake and eye contact. When someone speaks to you, square off your shoulders with theirs, look them directly in the eye, process what they are saying so even if they are not asking you a question, you can always reiterate the key points of their message to confirm understanding. People want to be heard and respected - that goes for you and whoever else you are working with. And do your research ahead of time on whatever company you will be working with or whatever project you are going to. Knowledge is power.
Kimberly recommends the following next steps:
- Do your research to become as much of an expert as possible going into any situation
- practice a FIRM handshake and remember to make eye contact
- Earn and take your authority