In order to succeed in business or successfully climb the corporate ladder, women need to use communication tools that effectively express their confidence, intelligence, strength, and ability – women must learn to communicate well.

1. Don’t bury the punch line.

Have you ever noticed that, when faced with something difficult to express, whether it be admitting a mistake to a client or reprimanding an employee for poor performance, you talk about everything BUT the problem at hand? You might eventually get around to describing the real issue, but only after much discussion about other, less relevant, topics. Women have a tendency to bury difficult “punch lines” in an attempt to avoid an angry confrontation, criticism, or hurting someone’s feelings. The reality is that talking around the issue, or trying to hide or soften it amidst other information, doesn’t help you avoid the discomfort. Instead it prolongs the problem, delays resolution, and leads to confusion.

2. Avoid the “I want them to like me” trap.

In general, women are far more concerned about how others perceive them than are men. If you notice that a desire for approval is motivating how and what you communicate to others at work, it is time to remind yourself of the goal of communication. The goal of communication is to clearly and fearlessly express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas – not to win others’ approval.

Feeling nervous about speaking and be considered professionally read: Minute Meditation: Prayer For Employment

3. Watch your head.

Women have a tendency to nod their head to indicate that they hear and understand what is being said to them. However, men typically interpret and use head-nodding to mean agreement with what is being said.

4. Make eye contact.

Yes, we’ve all heard this one before. But it’s easier said than done – especially during stressful or uncomfortable confrontations. We challenge each and every one of you to make eye contact when you most want to avoid it

Courage is the foundation of successful communication – and successful communication is the foundation of great achievement. Is it difficult to strive for respect above being liked, or to avoid weak language so that people hear your message more clearly? Yes.

Ideally, the kind of strength you will develop in your communication will allow you to be direct and assertive and will create an environment for others to feel this freedom as well. Good Luck!

Read: HUD Says $110 Million Is Available To Help Families to get started!