It’s 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning and Jane Businesswoman sits in a boardroom full of men. Week in, week out, it’s the same old story. Mr. Bossman holds court, a few of the men contribute their thoughts and ideas, decisions are made, and Jane agrees with everything, saying little, if anything.
Imagining a scene like this, you’d likely assume Jane is the minute-taker, but she’s actually head of product development. She knows in her gut that some directions the team have taken have not been in the best interest of either the company or the new product line. But she never tells anyone what she truly thinks.
Jane is at war with her intuition.
The trick for Jane is to be smart about it instead. She’s already naturally wired to pick up on emotional cues (both verbal and non-verbal) in the workplace. Yet her default workplace training always kicks in, telling her that she should “know her place.”
There’s no question she needs to learn to speak up, to – dare I say – disagree at times with her boss and co-workers, but knowing her colleagues as she does, she has a hard time mustering the backbone to do it.
Jane needs to learn how to position her intuition.
There are two distinctly different positions: one is positioning by status quo (allowing others to dictate what you say despite your feelings to the contrary), the other is tuning in and taking action on your first reaction (feeling strong enough to let it flow instead of holding back).
This is no easy task. In fact, it’s typically a Catch-22 plight still present in today’s modern workplace. If Jane doesn’t speak up for herself, her work will suffer and her self-esteem will continue plummeting. In essence, it’s like she’s operating with emotional brakes on while trying to do her job (what woman can last at length doing that?). Yet she feels if she does try to contribute to discussions, she’ll only open herself up to criticism and possible workplace harassment.
But she doesn’t have to walk a turbulent tightrope anymore. As simple as it sounds, Jane needs to trust her instincts and speak her mind. In order to do that, she could begin the process of self-empowerment by working with a career coach to identify the problem at its source and resolve it while improving her leadership and persuasion skills.
As in any relationship, we teach others how to treat us. And most of us know there’s nothing worse than the feeling of sitting on something you really want to say. I say it’s time we blow up the barriers, that we allow ourselves to be innovative with our intuition. There’s no need to try to be a man in the workplace in order to fit in or get ahead. Just be yourself, be strong, and let your voice be heard!
[Editor’s Note: Sometimes we all need to listen to that inner voice and have the courage to step outside our comfort zone to reach fulfillment and success in life. To find out how YOU can take that first step, click here now!]
[This is only one of the many powerful articles in this week's Influence It! Real Power for Women free ezine. To enjoy the full issue, jam packed with insightful information on strategies to enhance your personal and professional life to achieve ultimate success, you must be a subscriber. Sign up for your own free subscription NOW by clicking here!]