Ever been with a group of “leaders” and you just feel like:
- They aren’t perceiving you as an experienced person, due to not knowing your history or simply not feeling you “rise to their level” of knowledge?
- They aren’t respecting you or your passion for your work, many times due to Point #1 above.
What is a Nonprofiteer to do?!
Easy, Cowboy… easy.
First, believe in you. The hardest thing for many leaders and emerging leaders with to speak with confidence in the face of a perceived slight. You heard the phrase “Speak to Power?” Well really it is “Speak the Truth, Even If Your Voice Shakes.”
Second, take stock in your brains. Realize what put you into the room, or seated at the table, is your skills and knowledge. Something got you there, and regardless of their attitudes or impressions, you are there. You WORKED to be there. You EARNED to be there.
Finally, when all else fails….. call them on it. Respect is earned, not given. If you just can’t move them off of an apparent slight on you and your leadership, pause the room, reset, and begin again. You don’t need to turn over tables and scream “Respect my Authoritah!” like Cartman on South Park, but calmly request a “time out” and bring your concerns to the group. Ask for an adjustment in tone, understanding of your position, and respect. If it is received (which most likely it will), begin again. And if it is ignored…
Ride’m Cowboy… it’s time to go. ~DK