“He acted like he heard me but really he completely ignored me.” My client was very frustrated when she recounted a recent experience at a meeting. Theoretically, everyone was on the same page, with each person doing their part to make team members feel heard, yet the reality was one strong-willed person was dominating.
My client was initially excited about this meeting. She was thrilled to be invited to work with this team that had been chosen to collaborate on a plan to increase their organization’s commitment to equity. But she went on to relate, “My ideas were met with, ‘Oh, that’s great, and we can also do this.’ And then he went on to outline the complete opposite of what I was trying to say. It was like I wasn’t even there! I don’t know if I want to be on this team anymore.”
Sadly, this meeting on equity was anything but equitable! It was yet another meeting that got derailed by someone who wants to promote their one way of doing things. I could totally relate, I think we all can. No one likes to be ignored, discounted, misunderstood, or forced to act against their will. Yet, it happens all the time.
As a team leader or team member, could your leadership inadvertently be causing your team to feel this way? How can you make each team member feel heard and valued within the structure of your organization? Better yet, how can you really hear, and recognize, each member of your team?