Inner-strength training tip #29: If you have unwavering security in yourself then you can let people express themselves at work. You might need to do some tidying up when they try to cross boundaries, but no one can take anything from you if you know your strengths and weaknesses and that you ARE valued at your job.
At work often we see women fight to claim the top spot as THE WOMAN. You may have seen it before, she’s top dog it may be by her tenure, she needs to control everything, how she takes power from others but you have seen it no doubt it’s all about HER.
Or in general, there may be multiple women working together as is often the case now. They may be of equal intelligence at have unique talents but still often secretly sizing each other up to see who has the best skills.
When a question arises on a process or service we notice how hard it can be to muster up the willingness to ask the woman standing right next to us for help. Instead, we would rather wait for a man who is busy to answer our question rather than speaking to the woman standing right next to us!
Why do you think that is?
I’ve always wrestled with being an assertive leader.
I hate to bark out orders but I like to direct people, and I am firm when I need to be to restore order. I know people hate being controlled. And most of the time people give orders just to FEEL powerful and to boss people around. Rather than have the ultimate goal to work together in harmony, their goal is to be important, be THE ONE.
This observation doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in structure and order. For a business to run well, there must be a leader and they do need to give orders and direct people. The lines go cross when individuals rev up the gears and use “directing” as a oneway ticket to drink the kool-aid and keep people down.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Difficulty mustering up the flexibility to ask this woman for help
- Rigidity not wanting her to know the answer
- If we do ask her the question we still want to maintain full dominance over the situation
- A tinge of envy that she knows the answer
- A way to feel better about a feeling of lack or the overwhelm that they feel in their personal lives
How to deal:
Why not practice asking this woman a question at work. Please tell me what is the worst that could happen? Will the world end? Will people somehow realize this woman that you asked for help or their opinion might have something to offer? Yes, that might happen.
Which is why you can’t go too far with it. But, you should experiment with it little by little while still maintaining your strong demeanor.
After all, it’s all about how you carry yourself and present the question. Have you ever noticed that the final days before you leave a job, you are always more relaxed and carefree then you were when you had that security?
And for some reason when you care a little less you end up getting more respect from clients and co-workers and then you’re like why wasn’t this the case the ENTIRE TIME?
Well, one part may be because you are secure and relaxed enough to be yourself. You compare yourself a little bit less to that other woman. And your true range of talents are on display for others to see, even if you don’t.
People pick up on that subtle change in energy.
One final note, If you feel secure in yourself then you know that if you are strong in yourself then you are able to be flexible and still maintain the appearance of strength and personal power. Additionally, if you are on the flip side of the equation and feel that no one is asking you questions at work perhaps you may give off the appearance that you are too busy. And you shut yourself off from other’s asking you questions. This is an easy fix because all you have to do is become more available and open. This might take some conscious effort and think but it is possible.
Do you openly ask other women for help without fear of competition?