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You Had Us at 'Hello'

by Julie Rose, executive producer for “The Morning Show” on BYU Radio

“We’ll gladly take you as one of us!” laughed Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News America, when speaking with Morning Show host Marcus Smith this week.  Kay and ABC News reporter Claire Shipman were on the show talking about their new book, “The Confidence Code,” which argues that women suffer an “acute lack of confidence that is holding them back in the workplace.” 

“Nearly all seemingly-confident, successful women, if you scratch the surface, will admit to self-doubt or lack of self-assurance,” says Kay and Shipman. 

“So many at even the top levels are grappling with a feeling that they don’t quite own the right to be at the top,” says Kay.  And she admits she’s one of them: tending to defer to male colleagues and thinking that anything short of perfection is unacceptable. Kay and Shipman point to genetic and social reasons for this “confidence gap” between men and women. 

And that’s when Marcus admitted he suffers from similar feelings of inadequacy. 

“So how do we – and I’m not a woman, of course – but how do we overcome this inclination to think we’re not good enough?” he asked.  “We’ll gladly take you as one of us!” Kay laughingly reassured him. 

How do we overcome the confidence gap?  “For starters,” Shipman says, “remind yourself it’s okay to feel nervous, and then use that as an empowerment tool to act.”

Bet you wouldn’t have pegged Morning Show host Marcus Smith as the insecure type, would you?

You’ve probably never met him, but based on his voice, would you call him dominant? Friendly? Trustworthy? This week on The Morning Show we heard from a professor at the University of Glasgow who says all it takes is hearing the word “Hello” for us to build an image in our minds of the type of person the speaker is.  “The first two traits we zero in on are dominance and trustworthiness,” says Glasgow psychologist Phil McAleer.  

“If you’re a man and you want to sound more dominant,” McAleer says, “lower your voice.”  (No, Marcus, growling like a dog doesn’t do the trick, but it was fun to hear you try!) Want to sound more trustworthy? Bring your tone up a few notches. “Women have a harder time sounding dominant,” says McAleer. “But a trustworthy-sounding woman generally moves her voice to a lower note at the end of words and phrases, as opposed to ending every word and sentence as though it were a question.” 

So think about that the next time you’re looking to make a first impression. Your first words matter. We’ll try our best to keep bringing you conversations that matter on The Morning Show.

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