Both in the Women in BCM – Ask Betsy webinar and live at DRI2019, we encouraged you to send in your burning questions for our presenter, BCM veteran Betsy Sayers, MBCP, and you delivered! We’re pleased to present the next installment in a continuing Q&A series.
Q: Unfortunately, I recently encountered an experience where a senior woman cut me out of the conversation (both email and other) even though I had reached out to her to support her in fulfilling a request. What are some tips for dealing with such situations?
Betsy: Wow, I hated it when this happened! What you might consider doing depends on many factors though.
What kind of ‘request’ was she fulfilling? I am assuming a ‘request’ from your BCM team…say an annual BIA update.
Where is she in the organization? Is this behavior targeted at you or your role in BCM or does she treat everyone (or at least other women) like this? Are there any other external factors at play? If this is not a pattern of behavior for her is she stressed about other things personal or professional you don’t know about?
Obviously I’m working hard here to give her the benefit of the doubt before taking action.
I’m a strong believer in the three strikes and you are out approach to life’s little relationship challenges. The first time I’m going to give you a break but will say something to you like “I’m sure it was just an oversight on a busy day, but Mary you forgot to cc me on that email to Fred and I can’t help you if I’m not in the loop of what progress is being made and by whom.” Document the date and time of the discussion, where it took place, who else was present (hopefully no one at this point) and what you said.
The second time I’m going to do it in writing – “Hi Mary, I’m told that Fred is now working on this request and as I mentioned to you a few weeks ago, please ensure that I am cc’d on all correspondence related to this request to ensure my Steering Committee updates are accurate. Many thx, looking forward to meeting soon on this important matter.”
The third time I’d document the challenge in my CYA file and stop-light report her status to my Steering Committee as orange or red based on only what I “officially know” from her, not what I know through skunk-words from any other source.
Hope that helps,