Difficult Conversations at Work

Last year, I took a full time job at a company after working largely for myself for the past 10 years. Given the pandemic, the role has changed and expanded quite a bit from what I signed on to do (without additional compensation or title change), and I am also finding myself navigating what I perceive to be sexism in a male-dominated workplace (i.e., leadership being male dominated, but not overall staff.) Despite my prior leadership experience and current responsibility for maintaining incoming revenue for the company, I don’t feel I have a seat at the table for strategic conversations. Those seats are reserved only for the men at the top.

I have scheduled a meeting with the CEO for next week to discuss some of these issues and revisit the overall vision for my role, and in preparation I recently listened to the Difficult Conversations class with Jody from 4/12. Listening to it, I felt a huge relief in having a strategy to navigate the conversation, but then this morning I woke up feeling the same anger and frustration and I’m worried that my emotions will get the better of me when it’s time to sit down and have it.

I’m going to listen to the podcast again and work with some modeling, but I am looking for support and advice around how to navigate & approach these sensitive topics with a boss, since I am realizing I have never had to do it before. I tend to be very straightforward in communication by default. But by naming outright what I perceive, I know it will feel accusatory and will just compound the situation of my role being more siloed. By skirting around it completely, it will continue to persist. I’d love to put together an actual script/prompts for myself so I stay open and on message and would love any additional advice you have to give. Talk me off the ledge! 🙂