00:08 Hi, I'm Denise Simpson, a master life and leadership coach who helps women step into their authentic and feminine power. So they can lead like visionaries influence with grace and create a legacy of contribution and service. You'll hear about real leadership clients with real problems, navigating their success in life, business, and career. If you're ready to become a masterful leader, then this podcast was made for you. So let's get started.
00:47 My dear, dear friend, you and I are gonna talk about a topic that's sensitive to many female leaders, and it's this idea that you are hiding in plain sight. You may have a leadership title. You may have a leadership role. You may have the duties and responsibilities, even the salary of a leader in your organization, but there are many circuit , but there are many circumstances and situations where you feel like you have to hide yourself. So this idea of hiding in plain sight came to me when I was teaching a leadership class and a student, a female student said, you know, why am I aspiring to, to go into leadership? Why, why do I even bother doing this? I'm I have to hide in plain sight. I'm in the room. I'm showing them that I'm capable of these extra duties and responsibilities that I I'm working on this education.
01:53 That's going to propel me forward. I'm doing all of this work, but I'm standing. I feel like in the middle of a room and no one sees me, they see right through me. They don't know I exist. They don't know my potential. And it was so aggravating to her here. She was willing to commit to the mission and the vision of the organization, willing to commit to, to a group of employees, to a team, to, you know, a department she was willing to take on the role of leadership. Despite what society told her about women in leadership, despite what her culture reassured her, that she didn't belong in the workplace to begin with, despite what she saw with her own eyes in this tech field that she so loved, but was dominated by the masculine energy and men. And so she said, why I doing this?
03:00 No one sees me. I'm a ghost in a room. I come up with ideas. I bring forth my ideas, my opinions. I give them solutions to their problems and they see right through me as if my words don't matter. My, my brain doesn't matter. My input doesn't matter. It's as if I'm hiding in playing sight and not because I wanna hide. She said, I'm, I'm hidden from my voice. I'm muted. I'm kept in the shadows. I, I'm not welcomed to provide my feedback and to provide my, my opinions and my solutions to these problems. They just don't value me. So she was very vocal in this class session and it was in front of 50 other peers of hers. And of course I am at the podium and we're talking this through. And there was a lot of aggravation and overwhelm in her voice and in her energy and in her spirit, she was ready to quit.
04:04 She was ready to just throw in the towel and not pursue leadership at all. She was looking for other alternative means of an income like starting her own business, perhaps, you know, starting, you know, a hobby that she loved, that she could easily turn into a business. And we, we brainstormed a little bit. And what was also important about that conversation was that her peers had a chance to hear her and see her and understand how frustrated she was. They were able to see that a young woman who was very passionate about the technology field and this industry that she chose. She was very passionate about her contribution in this industry and how being at this entry level and technology was not something she desired. She wanted more, she wanted leadership. She wanted impact. She wanted to inspire an influence. She wanted to be taken seriously.
05:13 And one of her peers who is a male student chimed in and Zen, I understand I'm in technology too. And we don't see many women vocal like you, they don't vocalize their opinions or contributions to a problem. And so he gave her some workarounds. You know, he, he gave her some ideas, like why don't you email your leader, put it in writing. Here's what I'm contributing to solving. This problem that we are facing. Here are some alternative solutions. Here is what I highly recommend we do. And he said, you have some very valid points. And he even apologized. He said, I am so sorry that our industry is so close-minded to women in technology, especially in leadership roles in tech. He said, I now see, we are missing out on some great, talented and skillful female leaders. And so there was a shift in energy in the room because she was now seen and heard and understood.
06:26 And that's all we want to be. We wanna be seen, we wanna be heard, we wanna be respected. We want to be considered right. Considered for a position considered for advancement, considered for a promotion, considered for our opinions or solutions to these problems. That's all we want. And the energy shifted in the room. And there were more contributors to the conversation. Some people stayed quiet. Some people came in, some people wanted to turn it into an argument. Other people were were, were very positive and reassuring that she is not crazy that this is what they've seen in their industries, in the medical industry, in the education industry, in higher education and many other specialties that were in the room. And it was such a fantastic movement of neurology. There was disruption that happened. And what I love about the educational setting or any setting like a training or a workshop, or in my master's of leadership program, where it's a group atmosphere, this is a safe container.
07:37 I make sure that I create psychological safety for my students or my clients to have discussions that are challenging, that are uncomfortable, that may trigger some anger, may trigger some interesting emotions. And so it was important for me as their professor to create that psychological safety so that we can have these conversations within this container, this container of safety, psychological safety, and that's really the root of us hiding in plain sight is that we do not have the psychological safety in the workplace. And I'll get to do an episode on just psychological safety. It is now my life's work. I'm now moving in a direction where I am looking at two variables to ver variables in relationship to one another. And it's psychological safety and status. So as a woman increases in status within her organization, does her psychological safety go up? Is it a positive correlation?
08:53 And if it's not, then we as employers, we as heads of organizations, leaders in our organizations, we are responsible for creating that psychological safety for, for women to advance within their workplace. We need to find ways to create psychological safety for her, a container where she feels like she is respected, where she feels comfortable enough to say, I disagree with that. And here's why I wanna create a container for her within her mind, within her nervous system, within her own body, so that she can create psychological safety anywhere she goes and how wonderful it would be to have an employer help instill that within the workplace. Because I have always said, we have no control of our employees brains. We have no control of their behaviors or their actions. What we can do is inspire. That is what leadership is. We don't manipulate. We don't control.
10:02 This is not mind control. Don't get lazy on me. Leadership is proactively inspiring a change in the belief of your employee so that they can take action from a new state of belief, their behaviors, and the results they create are going to reflect your directive. But you gotta do some work before that. Cuz I have a lot of leaders that say they don't follow my directive. They don't respect me. Their behaviors are the complete opposite of what I ask them to do. And then I, I, I have to remind them, well, you don't control anybody, but how's your inspirational and influential skills coming along. Well, what do you mean it's about caring about your employee's belief systems, their values, making sure that you've created psychological safety for them to speak up. If they disagree to contribute when they, when they desire to which should be all the time.
11:08 So many of your employees are insane, a damn word because they don't feel safe around you or their team. It could be a peer of theirs. That's keeping them from speaking up or it could just be you making them feel very uncomfortable and very unsafe. So psychological safety is really the root of you hiding in plain sight. Your employees not speaking up, they too hiding in plain sight. Start watching your behaviors. As you are conferencing with your either peers, perhaps it's the same level. You it's the same, same executive suite. Perhaps it's the same level in the hierarchy, perhaps, right? You are among your peers and you have something really important to say, but you are so afraid to say something because of how someone at the table looked at you or how someone entering the room treated you or what somebody said to you a month ago, or what you heard someone say about you and your leadership.
12:21 When we let those thoughts that that infiltrate, they infiltrate our, our core, our beliefs and our values. These thoughts that you're having about other people are useless. They are toxic and they will not propel you forward in your leadership. You leader will need to find a way to discipline your mindset. And that is step one of the coaching that you and I do together inside masters of leadership. We look at your mindset, your belief systems, your values, the core of who you are. We also take a look at your bias biases, cuz you've got more than one. Your prejudices, your discriminatory tendencies, which means how you lead, how you lead is a direct reflection of what's in your mind.
13:17 So the next time you are conferencing with your peers and you really wanna speak up, but you don't ask yourself why pinpoint that thought? Why, why didn't I speak up? When I knew that this would be beneficial, that what I was about to say was going to solve their problem. Why didn't I speak up and take some time to reflect on your answer? Because within all of those sentences, within all of that writing, you're going to find the root cause. And it's gonna be in one simple sentence and you're gonna pull that one sentence out and you're going to evaluate it. So when I think this specific thought, I feel, what do you feel defeated? Do you feel like you're hiding? Do you feel afraid? Do you feel shame? What do you feel when you look at that one thought that you pulled out from that paragraph that you wrote from there, from that feeling plays, you will identify the action, which was inaction in your case.
14:33 And you're gonna write that. I did not take action. I did not raise my hand. I did not interrupt the CEO. I did not contribute. So get clear on why you didn't raise your hand. Remember those thoughts create a feeling that feeling then creates or influences or inaction in this case. And the result you're creating is feeling like you're hidden. Again, like you're hiding in plain sight. You're hiding again from the group. You're muting yourself. You're muting your voice. You're not standing by your convictions. You're not standing for something you're not leading the way you were intended to lead. You were hired to lead and you are not contributing as a leader. That's a problem. So if you are hiding in plain sight, let's do something about that today. And what we can do about this is getting you to think differently about your circumstances.
15:34 That is all it takes. I promise you. It is simple, but not easy. I say this to all of my clients. It's simple, but not easy to implement. And this is why I'm here to assist you. I'm here to guide and to coach you. That's what I get to do. I get to show you how to really manage your mind and your beliefs about your power as a leader. And I get to help you put into practice techniques and strategies to regulate those emotions so that you can take action from an empowered state, as opposed to one of shame or one of, of, of hiding one of defeat. All right, my friend, listen, you need to do the work first because when you do the work, you then get to identify the same characteristics in your employees. You get to identify those that are hiding in plain sight.
16:37 So do the work first so that you can help others like put the mask on first, before you can help your child on the airplane. Not that your employees are children, but listen, the point here is you lead thy self first, before you can lead another soul. But since you're already in leadership, my friend, you are responsible for doing this work now. All right? I hope this is helpful. Join me inside. Masters of leadership would love to see you in there so we can do the work together. All right, take good care. Bye for now.
17:21 Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to join me inside my exclusive coaching membership for women in leadership. Just like you. I wanna help you become a masterful leader with the help of a community of the most powerful women on this planet. My membership is called masters of leadership. Yes, of course it would be called that . So whether you're a novice or a master, you have to join us. You're gonna get the support that you need and deserve inside my membership. So head over to Dr. Denise simpson.com/m O L. That website again is Dr. Denise simpson.com/m O L. You deserve this, my friend. So join us inside. See you soon.