Thursday, March 19, 2009

Being Ignored

Have you ever been in this situation: you’re sitting in a meeting and make what you think is a great suggestion; you’re ignored. Ten minutes later, someone else makes a similar suggestion and everyone thinks it’s just the greatest idea. Are you invisible? Did you imagine it? Were you really speaking out loud?

How can women deal with being ignored at meetings and/or having their ideas dismissed?  Are there ways to enlist support of colleagues? What if you do not have supportive colleagues? I have read and heard of various strategies:

-Make sure you get an adequate seat at the 'table' (so that you are not hiding in a corner);

-Choose your timing: wait for the 'right opportunity' to jump into the conversation (not always easy);

-Speak slowly; offer more than a quick quip;

-Should you embellish with 'authoritative phrases'?

-Should you remind the group that this was your idea? ("As I suggested earlier...");

-Should you help out other women?  ("As colleague-X suggested..."). 

Are these effective strategies?  What is your experience?  What else can we do?