More Tina Fey Than Cinderella

I just learned about the “tiara syndrome.” It’s a valuable business lesson and it actually has a name.

The founders of Negotiating Inc., describe the Tiara Syndrome this way: “Women expect that, if they keep doing their job well, someone will notice them and place a tiara on their head.”

Wow, this is a gender problem? That’s even more disturbing.

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you know that self-advocacy is a faster way to recognition than silence and hope. This is a personality trait, not a gender issue. But, I suppose, if women are far less likely to self-advocate than men, now we have a gender issue, not just a personality trait.

However, can women self-advocate the same way that men do and achieve the same result? Now there’s a loaded question.

Think about what it takes to self-advocate. Boldness, articulation, self-assuredness and confidence all come to mind. These traditionally are traits that are rewarded in men and perceived differently in women. That’s not a judgement. It’s an observation of fact.

Frequently, but unintentionally, I illicit friction from others merely by being myself. I tend to have more confidence than average, articulate more, am naturally more direct and blaringly honest. This is a summary of my strengths and also my weaknesses.

I move at a fast pace mentally, and when I’m rushing, I take shortcuts that might be efficient, but frequently aren’t effective. Not when interacting with people. That requires care and patience. For me it also often requires overcompensation.

Everyone has room to improve. Trying to over correct is a great way to find middle ground.

In an effort to be awesome, sometimes I try too hard. When I get excited, maybe I get too verbal. Effusiveness and energy can be welcome. But telling 1 too many jokes, or interrupting someone because you want fast clarification can backfire on a relationship.

I’ve noticed that others tend to say “sorry” more often than I do. I don’t mean apologizing for wrong doing; I’m very quick to apologize for wrong doing. It’s more of a manner of interpersonal communication. For example, you notice someone is in your assigned seat on the plane, you say “I’m sorry, but I believe that is my seat.” Or, “I’m sorry, I ordered the tilapia, not the chicken that I was served.”

A lot can be gained from a “Give to Get” manner. Parents give responsibility to a child and get respect in return. Negotiators give a concession to get one in return. Supervisors give a perk to subordinates and gain a happy and productive worker. Give trust to receive it.

More to come, still learning.


About Melanie M. Morris
Broker of Trust and Authenticity I'm really a sales executive, but I'd rather identify with these ideals rather than to simply say...I'm a seller.

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