development, leadership, Women

Stick and Stones…

As I reflect on my career, I find it amazing how biased we all can be. We judge, critique, and make assumptions. I’ve had leadership “critique” me and make assumptions without personally knowing me. Most of the assumptions that stuck were unrelated to my work performance.

She has no creativity or people skills because she is an engineer.

She only works an 8 hour day because she works out in the afternoon.

She dresses nice, so she doesn’t belong in a factory.

Other judgments were less trivial.

Unlike in the journalism business, there is no requirement that the assumptions are substantiated. The organization can begin to define your value by assumptions versus your performance. Communication of these assumptions can be detrimental to the targeted person and set biases of those hearing the assumption.

The image above shows a visual of how this can make a person feel. The tree has been left broken. It is barely hanging onto the land amidst rocks. Even with all the trauma, the tree holds on and thrives. If you have been in a situation where you feel broken and barely hanging on due to judgments, consider these thoughts.

  • Be Resilient. Don’t let others define your self-worth.  You are the only one that can determine your self-worth. Most importantly, their judgments shouldn’t change your inner thoughts.
  • Maintain your freedom to be you.   Freedom to be you will maximize your talent. (See more on this topic in Freedom to Be You.)
  • Promote your Brand. Don’t let the judgments diminish your mission. If you can’t find a method to change their definition, then you will need to change your “company.”

Consider these thoughts.  If you are inclined, please send your experiences and ideas. An interactive audience enables learning for us all.

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