You made your point in the team meeting but no one acknowledged you even spoke. You told your significant other what you wanted but they ignored your request, or maybe you grew up feeling invisible all your life so you have become accustomed to being overlooked. There is truly a more rewarding way to live but it requires that you step up to the plate and claim your power again. Here are a few tips.
Look at your behavior. There are times when you may be unknowingly contributing to being invisible. Make a list of the times when you feel this way and see if there are any patterns with your body language, the way you speak or even the way you dress. Do you only feel this way when in high-powered groups or situations? Do you shrink back because you don’t feel as important, accomplished or well-connected? Doing this exercise will help to narrow down the source of this problem.
Know your value. If you are not clear on how valuable you are, not knowing your strengths or recognizing how powerful you are, then take a step back and do that. Write down all the reasons you would be an asset to others. Make a list of your strengths. Make it a habit to program your mind on all your positive attributes so you never walk into any room feeling like you do not measure up.
Ask for what you want. You’re invisible because you’ve developed a habit of being passive. You know what you want but you quickly acquiesce to others. The next time you are tempted to roll over and play dead, stop yourself. Develop the courage to be bold and ask for what you want. Open your mouth and speak. Those around you will probably be shocked to see you finally standing up for yourself.
Disagree, if you must. Confrontation is often seen as a bad thing, and for individuals who struggle with acceptance, being confrontational is not on the top of their agenda. However, in order to become visible, it may require you to disagree with a point of view or someone’s approach to a situation. Disagreeing does not need to be an unpleasant experience. Build and practice your argument and then present it in a professional manner.
Get support. It’s perfectly fine to ask for help. Maybe you need a powerful ally at the board meeting to reiterate to the team that they overlooked your idea or maybe you need to sit with a friend to bounce around some ideas to help you process this. Whatever you choose, seeking the support and advice of a trusted person can be just as effective.
Karen Hinds is a leadership and diversity and inclusion expert. She used her experience in building talent pipelines for financial services companies to launch her company over 20 years ago. Workplace Success Group is a strategic, talent development firm that works with organizations to cultivate and retain their next generation of leaders.