You are a successful, highly credentialed woman, and not everyone’s excited about that. Fortunately, there’s a cottage industry of books and articles written just for you. Many have exactly the same takeaway: that you must balance your warmth and competence, softening the blow of your credentials by toning yourself down, and you should fine tune your social volume so it’s perfectly appropriate. The “balance” strategy is often both ineffective and personally frustrating because you’re stuck playing Goldilocks, and it’s next to impossible to get it “just right”. If you play it overly ‘effeminate’, warm, and deferential, you’re seen as lacking leadership presence and you fail to deliver critical messages. And if you’re “coming on too strong,” you aren’t “collegial” enough, whatever that means. Rather than living in a constant state of fear that you might shatter the egos of all who could potentially be threatened by your presence, consider the alternative: owning your competence without apologies. Tanya Menon, the co-author of Stop spending, Start managing, will consider when and how to implement this strategy.
Speaker: Tanya Menon