To Flirt or Not To Flirt…
The definition of “flirt”, according to the dictionary is:
- to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions or
- to trifle or toy, as with an idea.
While many may jump to a pre-mature conclusion (no double entendre intended ), flirting is not synonymous with short skirts, sex, massages and unwarranted promotions etc. I would never advocate using overt sexuality to get business or a promotion. It simply isn’t appropriate, professional or effective. What I am speaking about is very simple – it is about two objectives (1) being memorable and (2) developing rapport with another person for the purposes of enhancing your work relationship.
In my career, I have had the privilege to work in some of the top corporations both in Australia and North America – largely in male dominated industries. Having been in senior management positions in law, chartered accounting and retail management (FMCG), I have learned a few critical things about what it takes to be successful as a woman in business. In my experience a woman must be careful to remove sexuality from the equation yet maintain the strength of her feminity – her connection to emotions, intuition and communication – ALL of which are influential and valuable attributes in business.
People don’t buy products or services- they buy the feeling they get from the purchase – they buy the experience.
Flirting (as long as it doesn’t cross the line and become something that is not professional) is one powerful way to develop rapport. If you can make someone smile, feel relaxed and truly heard/listened to….then you have essentially sold them! This isn’t a male/female issue. It isn’t about sexuality, it is about body language, listening skills and being unforgettable….for ALL the RIGHT reasons.