Today has been a very proud day! Aubryanna, a 25-year-old hairstylist, gave me a great ‘do before my appearance on the TV show EXTRA (I’ll let you know when the segment will be airing, but it’s not going to be what you think it is). I’ve known Aubryanna since she was three months old because she and my daughter went to the same daycare.
They hate me
Like so many of us, Aubryanna started her career as an assistant and she has paid her dues. Aubryanna worked with six other assistants in a fancy Los Angeles hair salon. It was during her time at this salon that I was, unfortunately, not surprised to receive a call from Aubryanna. She was almost in tears because of the way she was being treated by the other assistants.
I’d heard it all before: jealousy, backstabbing, trash talking behind her back, making up stories, setting her up to fail, and singling her out to do more of the dirty work like cleaning the kitchen. This is much the same of what I frequently hear about workplaces where many women are together in close quarters.
Aubryanna asked me why she was being singled out and made to be the target. What should she do?
Before I go on about Aubryanna, let me share that if you have been subjected to this kind of bullying and harassment, it’s because you are a high potential. You are different. And “followers” don’t like people who are different. But guess who does? Bosses do.
Innovation and creativity need each other
First lesson is to understand that if you were a nobody, they wouldn’t care. They care because you are a threat. That means you must know what you are doing, and you probably do it better than your co-workers.
That is the very reason they try to keep you in your place.
They do not want you to rise above their mediocrity and pettiness. And guess what? They will stay where they are for a very long time because they are busy with infighting. Hardly the stuff that says PROMOTE ME!
Think like an owner
That’s what I told Aubryanna. It’s your career. And ultimately, it’s your business. So you have to start speaking up for yourself. I told Aubryanna to review her employee handbook very closely because more often than not, the answers are right there.
Next time Aubryanna went to work, she walked in shaking like a leaf—but she was armed with information. She made sure they knew that she knew what was up. That’s when the manager of the salon (who had allowed all this bullying to go on unabated) got the memo. This girl means business. And yes,Aubryanna roared. I suggested she should. I know that women are more powerful than they believe.
Aubryanna had to grow a thick skin and focus only on her work. She continued to communicate with the other women, but strictly on business and career issues.
Then they started to notice her, which is better than terrorizing her. And suddenly, there was an opportunity to shine…
During a routine showcase where the owner of the salon checks in on the progress of the assistants, Aubryanna showed up in a BIG way. She was ready, she had prepared, and she put it all out there.
The owner (not the manager, not the other assistants) was so impressed that he offered Aubryanna her own chair in his second salon that was about to open in only the most prestigious location you can possibly imagine. Her rate quadrupled overnight.
What is the lesson here?
You need to think like an owner and understand what their issues are. When you get that, you devise your strategy according to what they need. That’s how you get noticed in the workplace. And you’d better be prepared for that opportunity when it comes along because it may only come once. At that moment you have to be ready—not involved in petty infighting.
And that’s how I got to catch up with Aubryanna from daycare to giving me my look for EXTRA. Oh, and my hairstyle? It was fabulous, of course!
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.