I understand breaking the glass ceiling and ascending to the C-Suite may not be your ultimate career dream. It certainly wasn’t mine. Regardless of where you are within the organization, upward mobility mandates you’ll interact with those more senior than you.

When you do, make no mistake, the air is different up there!

The energy in a room with Senior Leaders has been described as “intense, efficient and expectant” which may not be your norm.

Here are 5 C-Speak tips you’ll need to know:

  1. Think like an Executive. They have a world view and can connect the dots of an organization from top to bottom as well as the industry.
  2. Understand your audience. Don’t focus on the day to day; ask yourself “what would the Senior Leader want to know”? Is it margin contribution? Total revenue generation?
  3. Be prepared to speak at any time. They’ve been known to drive the conversation which means you’ll need to flex accordingly and be prepared to answer questions or ask clarifying ones.
  4. If you’ve received an email from an Executive, does it contain data? If so, when you communicate with them, use data. In essence, speak their language based on cues you’ve detected.
  5. Exude confidence. Avoid flaws in your logic, content and numbers. Stick to the facts. Your credibility is at stake and in some instances, so is your career.

C-Speak is no longer reserved for those in the C-Suite. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to fall within a certain level of an organizational hierarchy to walk the walk and talk the talk.

Ericka Spradley is the Chief PowHer Officer of Confident Career Woman which is the premier consulting firm for corporations and the mid-career professional woman who wants to advance, better manage her career, and go further faster. Ericka is an advocate who partners with clients to help women ditch perfection, play bigger and make PowHer Moves by: identifying their next role, creating a career strategy, offering ongoing career guidance, and coaching clients to master interviews. For additional information, visit: ErickaSpradley.com