Not being taken seriously is a problem many face in today’s work environment. You may feel like you are not being seen or heard or that others treat you in a demeaning way, and you are not sure exactly how to respond. To be taken seriously, you must learn how to establish authority to gain the respect you deserve. You can start implementing specific strategies that will improve others’ perceptions of you and increase your presence in the workplace.
Confidence is the key to showing up and being taken seriously. You should never be shocked when people try to lead you onto thin ice anticipating the delight of watching you fail – expect it. If you make the decision to take the bait, that is on you, not on them.
As a businesswoman who sold a business to Bill Gates, I have played with some hard-charging, win-at-all-cost, big guys. I have seen lying, stealing, cheating – you name it, and I have been around it, and one of the most valuable lessons from these experiences was that I choose how I feel and how I respond. People can act however they want, but that is all they have control over; you always have control over your confidence because you choose your feelings and actions, not them.
Being Different Is Not Your Problem
If you are different, expect to be singled out for whatever makes you stand out in the crowd – being a woman, a minority, having an accent, or having different abilities. Whatever makes you different from the status quo in an organization, or the particular norms of a group, can lead to ridicule, and you need to be prepared for that. You need to find a way to use your difference as a strength or find a way to overcome obstacles. For instance, creative people sometimes come off as different from others. Their vision and ability to see things in ways others can’t see are remarkable. Watching their wheels spin and brains intuitively conceive innovative and brilliant ideas is incredible. But often, when it comes to taking their thoughts and putting them into bullet points and explaining them to others – it’s crickets, or it makes no sense at all. They are not rambling morons; they are genius but lack the ability to articulate to others that don’t see things the same way they do.
Whatever it is that makes you different can often be the thing of value that you bring to an organization. Never be ashamed of it; embrace it as what allows you to stand out in the crowd and use it to your advantage.
Control Your Response
When someone leads you down a path that creates a response from you, and then they call you emotional – a statement that typically encourages a genuine emotional reaction – there is actually a way to handle this situation. If this happens, put your head back, start laughing and say, “My god, is this 1980? Who even says that anymore!” Because it is so cliche and not even funny, you choose to give it no energy.
When people lead you down a path expecting a response, you absolutely must be in charge of your feelings and pull the air out as quickly as possible; then, there can be no fire. But, if you fall for it; if you justify yourself; if you fire back with “how dare you to say that to me” – you have already lost. You gave them control, and they ran with it. You must stay in charge of how you respond and your feelings if someone does this to you.
Preparation Is Key
The most important thing you can do to increase being taken seriously is learning to prepare. When you know you are going where the office bully resides, train yourself not to react. If you are a creative that struggles with bullet points and summarizing your big thoughts, partner with someone that thrives in this area and work together to prepare for your presentations. You know your personality, and you must figure out strategies that allow you to show off your best self. By preparing for different situations and understanding your vulnerabilities, you can be ready for any case and stay in charge.
Winning at all costs is their game – never forget that! You can actually go out and combat their attempts to see you fail when you remember their only intention is winning. If they take you out, they no longer have to worry about you. You must reframe the situation; don’t let anyone take you out. Learn how to be in charge. Learn how to make light of their words, make fun of their attempts, and remember that everything does not deserve a response from you – sometimes, it is best to ignore and move on.
At the Growth Architect, my goal is to help you develop a plan to give you the strategies you need to build authority and be taken seriously. If you want to learn more about how to be taken more seriously, watch my video – you can do this!
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, and provides visionaries and leaders with strategies, blueprints and results-oriented, tangible tools and techniques that give clear steps to improve business systems, strengthen leadership skills and teams so that you can scale your impact.
A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, Beate bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal. She is amongst the “Top 100 Global Thought Leaders” by PeopleHum and “One of 50 Must-Follow Women Entrepreneurs” by HuffPost.
Recent clients include Amazon, Reckitt (the maker of Lysol), Chevron, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, the Women’s Legislative Caucus of California Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Shelter Inc., Mental Health First Aid and thousands of small businesses.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” –a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.”
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here. Your Time Is Valuable!