How to tap into your inner “bad girl” and get exactly what you want — from clients, colleagues and the media. (No leather required.)

Remember that classic scene at the end of the musical Grease, where Sandy struts back onscreen, clad in tight leather pants, with her hair teased up to the sky?

Goodbye, soft-spoken, mousy blondie. There’s a new Sandy in town, and she’s ready to have her moment in the spotlight. She’s here to get what she wants. And men literally topple at her feet.

ResizedPublished in Ingenue magazine, November 1963, Vol. 5 No. 11

Wouldn’t it be fun to tap into YOUR inner bad girl, too?

It’s not as hard as you might think. And you don’t have to change your whole personality — or even your outfit.

It’s simply a matter of bending the rules and asking for things … a bit differently.

Here are three “bad girl” experiments to try, over the next couple of days.

Do them all, just for kicks. You’ll be stunned at how easy it is to get what you want while serving the greater good … and having WAY more fun.

Resize4Published in Calling All Girls magazine, November 1947, Vol. 7 No. 67

Bad Girl Move #1. Make outrageously specific requests.

The next time you’re ordering food at a restaurant, be extravagantly precise.

A woman I know is legendary for making unabashed requests, like this — “I’ll have a turkey club sandwich with Swiss cheese, not cheddar, one half of a pickle, a salad with dressing that’s drizzled, not tossed, and a glass of lemonade in a chilled glass. No ice. And I’d prefer a white straw, not striped. Thank you SO much.” — and amazingly, servers bend over backwards to delight her. Just about every time.

You might think that this sounds annoying. But it’s all about your tone and intent. If you think of the waiter as your personal slave, this won’t work in your favor. If you approach the conversation as an exchange between two creative people who are looking to please each other and make the world a happier place, you’ve got the right idea.

Try this same move at work — with colleagues or clients — and even with your sweetheart, at home.

Use a warm, friendly tone and flash a huge smile.

You’ll be shocked at how often people comply!

 

Bad Girl Move #2. Buck the system and play a game.

On a conference call with a client that’s going nowhere … fast? They’re droning on and on, looping around the same problem you’ve been hearing about for months … ugh. Boredom abounds.

Stop them and say: “It feels like we’re circling around the same scenario, and we need a fresh solution. Let’s hit pause right there. I have a game I’d like to play. Got a computer or radio handy? You’re going to need some energizing music…and a notebook and pen…”

Shift the mood with a surprising game or challenge. Shock and surprise them — while maintaining a playful, supportive tone. For example, a colleague of mine is a writing teacher who is often asked, “What’s the best way to get writing projects done, faster?” Instead of answering the question directly, she’ll often invite the audience to play a game she calls Tarot-etry –a game where people write mini-poems in sixty seconds flat, inspired by Tarot cards. It’s unexpected and lively, and allows her to make her point – that beautiful writing can happen quickly, when you adopt a playful attitude and stop over-thinking!

Playing “games” can work across lots of different industries, not just “creative” ones like writing. Try saying something like this: “To answer that question, I’d like to tell you a story, and play a little game…” or “Let’s role-play. I’ll be you, and you’ll be the other person in this story. I’ll demonstrate how we can have a better conversation about money / kids / sex / insert topic here.”

Which brings us to …

Resized2 Published in Ingenue magazine, May 1969 – Vol. 11, No. 5

Bad Girl Move # 3. Refuse to answer the question. (Or answer it on your own terms)

Doing a media interview? When the host asks a question that you don’t want to answer, smile mysteriously and say, “That answer is too hot to share in public, right now. But what I will say is this…” and then talk about whatever YOU want to address.

Bestselling author Danielle LaPorte writes passionately about sex, desire, love, money and what it takes to make great art. But she rarely mentions the nitty-gritty details of her own marriage or life as a mother. With regards to her son, she will simply say: “He’s the best thing I’ve ever made.” End of story.

When you change the conversationand shift the focus, you hold the power.

Bad girls do what feels right, not what’s expected.

And in business? That’s a very good thing.

So channel your inner Sandy, and bust out a few power-moves — all in the name of delivering your skills, expertise and message to the people who need it, most.

In other words?

Be bad. But do good.

Resize3Published in Family Circle magazine, September 1962, Vol. 61 No. 3

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