If I had a pound or a dollar for every woman that’s told me this sorry tale I’d be a million-well, I’d have enough for a decent meal out anyway!
The topic usually crops up when we’re talking about women behaving assertively, in all its forms. I occasionally use an example of the boss taking the credit for a piece of work that you’ve done and not acknowledging your input. The aim of the exercise is to discuss how to deal with it assertively and not lose your job!
I’ve yet to do this in a group of women where at least one hasn’t immediately said
“Oh that keeps happening to me”
I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised as they are on an assertiveness or confidence building course after all.
Keep Doing the Same Thing…
It’s the word ‘keeps’ that is so alarming. We’ve all experienced it from time to time and sometimes there’s a legitimate reason for it. Occasionally the most senior person does have to present to the board, for example, and it’s not always appropriate to give credit in that type of forum. But when it keeps happening it’s time for a serious re think.
In my sessions I ask women what they would like to say if they weren’t fearful of losing their jobs and the responses are usually pretty robust (and probably would result in instant dismissal!) Most women know what they want to say but lack the confidence to say it. Push them a little further and they know how to say it without immediately getting the sack.
But they don’t say it – fear holds them back. They are fearful of the consequences of speaking their mind and challenging a blatantly unfair action. And so they keep quiet and in keeping quiet they keep their place. And the boss keeps theirs too.
Women, we’ve got to speak up or nothing will change.
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Posted on July 13th, 2012 by Jane