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June 2013 Newsletter
Smart Talk
Who is Audrey?

Media Blitz

A Crisis in Women's Leadership: The Fear of Success Syndrome and the Ambition Gap

Matina Horner  is an American psychologist who was the sixth president of Radcliffe College. She is known for pioneering the concept "fear of success" in the late 1970s. In a remarkable piece of research, Horner suggested that women had a "motivation to avoid success". Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook  and a Harvard graduate  who is ranked one of Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business is the author of the best seller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. She identifies the "leadership ambition gap" among women. What is it about girls and women that leads them to avoid stepping up to their full ambition and positions of leadership?

Sex role conditioning is a powerful thing. Here are some findings from research on gifted girls:

  • Gifted girls’ IQ scores drop in adolescence, perhaps as girls begin to perceive the giftedness in females is undesirable.
  • Gifted girls take less rigorous courses than gifted boys in high school.
  • Highly gifted girls often do not receive recognition for their achievements.
  • Highly gifted girls attend less prestigious colleges than highly gifted boys.
  • Highly gifted girls aspire to careers having moderate rather than high status.

Professional ambition is expected of men but optional for women and sometimes worse-a negative. Ambitious women step outside the gender box and are not a compliment in our culture. As Sandberg claims, "Female accomplishments come at a costs." She goes on to share a story that when she went to college, her parents emphasized academic success, but they emphasized marriage more.
There are other blatant cultural messages. Gymboree once sold onesies (one piece jumper for babies) proclaiming, "Smart like Daddy" for boys and "Pretty like Mommy" for girls. The sex role socialization begins as an infant!

One more component of the fear of success and the ambition gap is that success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. Many agree this is the bias at the core of this dilemma for women. It is not feminine and she will not be liked or rewarded for her ambition.

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Audrey Nelson PhD. is an international trainer, key-note speaker, consultant and author who works with organizations to increase their productivity and profitability through winning communication strategies.

You can reach Audrey at
or at 303.448.1800 O -  303-448-1801 F - 303.448.1802 C

Audrey Live!!
d April 26, 2013
Cubicle Etiquette
Everyday Talk Show Fox 31
KDVR-TV, Denver
Click here for segment
d April 10, 2013
The Retro Wife
Everyday Talk Show Fox 31
KDVR-TV, Denver
Click here for segment
d March 27, 2013
Can women have it all?
Everyday Talk Show Fox 31
KDVR-TV, Denver
Click here for segment
pros Audrey was interviewed about dealing with difficult people by  The Most Positive Business Talk Show in America AM 560 KLZ - click here to listen

Have you checked out Audrey’s blog?
psy today

Silence: A Man's Dilemma

Click for article

Don't miss this!
denver college Audrey presented Smart Talk to TheWomen's College at Denver University
connection May 14 2013
City of Colorado Springs Women's Connection
diversityy Audrey was interviewed for the May 2013 issue of
Diversity Woman Magazine

on gender communication.

Click here for article


What People are saying about Audrey

Hi Audrey,
Thought I would let you know I had the extreme pleasure of being in your breakout session at the PMI Symposium (it was great). 
Valeri Butler, PMP
Program Manager, T7, Colorado
Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Dear Audrey:  Thank you for your newsletter update!  It is always good to hear from YOU!  Just wanted to let you that Devon had asked me to incorporate a section of my program dedicated to reviewing the overall LDP as a way to refresh the participants to all of the learning provided to them over the course of the 18 months.  More than half of the participants in this last program REFERENCED YOU and many of the great communication tools they learned from you in your sessions!  Well done dear colleague and friend!  Keep up your wonderful work. 
Warmest wishes, Bernadette
Speakers Live, Inc.
119 Delgado, SF, NM 87501

Comments from City of Colorado Springs, Women's Connection
He Speaks, She Speaks
May 14 2013

The different communication styles between men and women.
All of it was good
Great!  Very Interesting.
All of the info was very helpful/useful. Dr.Nelson....she is a fabulous speaker. I was very impressed. Enjoyed this luncheon/speaker very much.
Speaker's presentation was great.
Thoroughly enjoyed this presentation.  All of what she presented was useful.
Everything!!! Great Speaker, Wish it was longer!!
Understanding how men can take our thoughts as a question and how I should word things differently.
Audrey was amusing and a great speaker.  Fun group participation
How women and men communicate differently.
Recognizing the differences in how men/women communicate
Everything!  I loved the session :)
Good information.   I liked the comparison between the genders.
Great speaker.  Too bad I had to go to a meeting and couldn't stay.
Concrete examples
Being able to sign-up for the speakers newsletter will help keep me abreast of related discussions.
Entertaining, funny topic of a real issue
Speaker was very engaging and did her job well. 
Importance of communication clarity
The content was wonderful...very informative.
Great event!  Lots of good information and good food.
How to communicate better with men.
Audrey was a great, funny, speaker and I really enjoyed it!  I loved it!
Very informative speaker, kept audience attention for entire time.
The realization that women tend to ask permission when giving an order. The whole event was great - I could see being at an all day conference with her. The food was great! You must do that again!!

Audrey's Books

The Gender Communication Handbook –
Conquering Conversational Collisions Between Men and Women


The Gender Communication Handbook is for anyone who works with the opposite sex. If you are a part of a management team, in HR, or develop corporate training, this book is a comprehensive guide filled with smart advice, extensive research, self-assessments, and compelling true-to-life case studies. More

Code Switching –
How to Talk so Men will Listen

Code Switching

Code Switching  is a hands-on tool for everyday use at the office. It is a practical resource with how-to steps to help businesswomen conquer the communication nuances between men and women in the workplace. This book explores the gender impact on business talk. - More

You Don’t Say – Navigating Nonverbal Communication Between the Sexes


You Don't Say is the first book to explore the misunderstandings that often arise between the sexes due to nonverbal communication — and to show readers how to say what they mean and get what they want. More than words, it's nonverbal cues that have the power to improve — or impair — our interactions with the opposite sex at home and in the workplace.

"Audrey's Top 4 CD Communication Hits"


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