I’m an older professional and I know my worth. Still, despite my title and many years of experience, I can sense that my perspective and recommendations are not being properly valued or listened to. How can I engage with my colleagues so as to remind them of my expertise without coming across as threatening or argumentative?
– Evelyn D.
What I’ve learned over the years as an older professional myself, and I know my worth, as you, and have many high titles and years of experience; but coming in the door, what people want is to know that I am present, and that I have presence. I bring presence to the fore, and I bring presents with me: my talents, skills, experience, my whole background is what I bring to the table. But when I come in the door and flash all my assets, no one wants to be pitched. But if I keep my cover, learn the rules of the road, query and chat everyone up, then when I have something to say, I’ll be heard.
You can still be the anchor or the visionary pathfinder, but it’s not about reminding everyone of your expertise, it’s about sharing ideas. “Have you considered–?”, “Has this been tried–?” Bring yourself back to ways in which you’re a part of this alignment around a vision and purpose toward cohesiveness and profitability for the team.
It’s also a fabulous time to leave the company to check out new avenues, to become an intrapreneur or fly free as an entrepreneur or in a strategic partnership—now is an excellent time to do so. It’s not an answer, but an alternative, after you try coming into the room with presence and presents.
What other strategies do you use to balance showcasing your experience and expertise with being present and engaging with your colleagues?