Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan
I am in a jam and I hope you can help me. I started my job last May.
I was recruited by the CEO’s favorite recruiter. He told me that his favorite client, my current CEO, had several strategy-level positions to fill.
I was hired into the Strategy and Planning division and it’s great. The work is exactly what I was looking for. However, my direct boss “Adam” is extremely fearful and nervous about me.
In one of our first meetings, he said “You will go to a lot of meetings with influential people in the company, including the CEO and other executives. You are smart but you haven’t been here long. Let me do the talking.”
I asked Adam “Do you literally want me to stay silent in meetings?”
He said “For now, that’s right. You can take notes. If there is a general call for votes or opinions on an issue you can say a few words.”
Liz, I go to meetings and sit at the table like I have something to say — and I do have a lot to say — while Adam does the talking.
It drives me crazy and I see the other people at the meeting looking at my strangely, probably thinking “What’s your problem? Why don’t you talk?”
One of my co-workers came to a Product Strategy meeting and saw me in silent mode and asked me why I wasn’t talking. I told her the truth. She’s not going to tell Adam about it but it was extremely embarrassing to tell her my situation.
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I had a meeting with the CEO’s Chief of Staff last week. It was just the two of us there.
She said “I have to tell you something. The CEO thinks so highly of you but he hears from some of the other executives that you don’t contribute at meetings.
I told her that Adam doesn’t let me speak at meetings, and she said “Do you want me to tell the CEO?” and I said “No” because I realized how ridiculous it sounded.
What should I do?
Thanks Liz –
We get messages from Mother Nature that say “Someone around you is feeling singed by your growing flame!”
One way to react to those messages is to try to fit in, go along, keep the skittish person happy and dim our own flame.
The other way to react is to realize that Mother Nature knows best, and let your flame shine as brightly as it wants to.