Tulip is a manager with Envelope Inc., an event management organization that executes large business programs for multinationals. Over the years Tulip has been consistently performing for her organization and she is known to be solid in delivering initiatives. Leaders respect her focus and passion for events. However, Tulip has been getting frustrated because she feels her views aren’t considered in team meetings and also with clients. She decides to talk to her mentor Mukul, who works in the media department. Here is how the conversation goes. Reflect on the issues at hand and share what Tulip can do differently to be perceived more positively.
Tulip: “Hi Mukul, thanks for making time to meet me. I know it is in the middle of the busy budget review”.
Mukul: “No problem. I can always spare time when you need me to. That is why I am your mentor! Tell me, what’s troubling you?”
Tulip: “Not sure how I should state this – it seems like I am not being valued for who I am!”
Mukul: “That’s a strong statement. Why do you say that? You seem to be doing well.”
Tulip: “Yes, that’s true. I am enjoying my work and giving 110% to my role. I however feel that my views are not accepted.”
Mukul: “Give me examples.”
Tulip: “In a meeting with Trip Limited, when they asked for ideas for their bungee jumping business, I shared why we need to be cautious about linking business priorities with social responsibility. No one thinks of charity when they are looking for excitement. I suggested that – but I was cut off by my Himesh – our group head. He said Trip Limited did the same exercise in Poland and it can apply here.”
Mukul: “Hmm. So, how did you react?”
Tulip: That comment was quite abrupt and dismissed what I shared. It made me feel that my contribution isn’t valued. I kept quiet. My frustration showed on my face. Then in another meeting the same suggestion put forward by James, the country head was accepted!”.
Mukul: “How did you express your point? Assertively? Did you ask them for their views?
Tulip: “I said it straight. There is no point beating around the bush. If it won’t work, then why cushion the message with soft language?”
Mukul: “And what did James say differently?”
Tulip: “He said the same thing – sounding very important! And that seemed to have landed well. Is it because he is a senior person and I am junior?”
Mukul: “You seem to have a point. If you said the exact same point and one person’s views were accepted over another – that sounds quite odd. Did you do research in the topic of interest?”
Tulip: “It is common sense. I had done some reading but not formal research. However, nor did James, since he never mentioned any insight either!”
Mukul: “This is an interesting point. It therefore means, something else is driving why your views are not valued as much as others. I can’t put my finger on what that is. Let me give this some thought and come back”.
How can you help Mukul mentor Tulip? How can Tulip overcome this challenge? What are possibly the issues she is facing?
Do share your responses here. I am open to hearing what you think is going on.