Ever Feel Like You Deserve To Be Treated Better?

Ever Feel Like You Deserve To Be Treated Better?

It was the first time I was meeting Alice*
On the other end of the Zoom screen was a woman with a warm and engaging smile, standing in a bright conference room with skyline views of NYC. We were having an introductory conversation to see if we wanted to work together.

Me: Tell me what brings you to coaching, Alice?
Alice: I have plateaued in my role and I’m not sure why. I think I need to work on my executive presence.
Me: What would be different if you had a stronger executive presence?
Alice: I’d be asked for my input.
Me: And you’re not now?
Alice: No.  The executive team recently put together a working group for a new initiative. I should have been a key contributor, but I wasn’t invited.
Me: Ouch. What feedback have you gotten that gives you clues about the reason you weren’t included?
Alice: None, except that sometimes my body language makes it seem like I’m nervous. You probably see it now.

I could see it. 
There was a lot of movement happening on the screen.  Alice frequently moved from side-to-side.  When she got animated, her gestures got bigger and bigger until her whole arms were in on the action.  It was distracting.
The solution seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?  Give Alice some specific feedback, some best practices around nonverbal communication and allow her to practice with me. 

The problem with stopping there is that we would be addressing the symptom rather than the core issue. 
As we dug deeper, Alice explained that she was always afraid.  She felt like she was always on the brink of making a mistake.  Her anxiety extended to others, as well.  She was always warning others about how an idea could possibly go wrong.  She began to recognize how her cautiousness might get in the way of being invited to a working group tasked with innovation. 

Let’s talk about you. How are you being excluded, overlooked or under-valued?

Recently, clients have shared some of the ways that they’ve felt left out or overlooked.  Relate to any?

  • Someone else repeating your ideas as their own

  • Not getting invited to meetings

  • Not being asked for your opinion

  • Having something taken away from you

  • Not getting the rating you believe you deserve

  • Not getting the promotion or position

  • Someone with less experience getting paid more

What to do:

  • Assume positive intent. Maybe it was an oversight or miscommunication.

  • Talk to someone who can give you clarity on the facts of the circumstance.

  • Ask yourself if this is a one-off or does this feel familiar.

  • If it feels familiar, journal or talk to your coach about “What am I doing to create this situation?”

Do you have a situation that you are struggling to understand?

Schedule time with me.

*Alice is not the client’s real name.

Starla Sireno is an Executive Coach in NYC. She partners with leaders to more effectively navigate the complexities of their roles, increase their influence at all levels, and hone their interpersonal communication skills in order to become more impactful both internally and in client-facing roles. Inquire how you can work with Starla or her team.

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