white dudes

Feb 16, 2023

Almost every single leader of color I work with has this problem:

They get pretty triggered by cis white dudes.

I saw this first hand with my client, Tanya.

When my client, Tanya, had their first 1:1 session, they just couldn’t speak up in meetings with the white, male, CEO of their company.

They felt frozen, like a deer in headlights – only realizing after calls were over how many questions they had, and things they needed to say.

After hearing what was going on, it was clear to me that the act of speaking to this CEO was completely disregulating for Tanya – aka it made their nervous system say “DANGER!”

This response makes sense, because every community of color has experienced atrocities and violence at the hands of the white man.

Even in our lived experience today, while we are (typically) physically safe around white men – they still can still be dangerous for our emotional, financial, and mental safety.

That being said – as a leader of color, feeling this triggered during your work day really gets in your way, stops you from doing good work…

…and also, you just deserve to feel better, fam.

So, how did Tanya & I fight this?

1️⃣ I supported Tanya to build 5-15 minutes before and after every call with their CEO, where their only job was to calm down their nervous system.

2️⃣ We developed techniques they could use during meetings to create pauses and slow things down…which continued to calm their nervous system down and help them feel a little more safe.

3️⃣ We enlisted the support of other folks of color in the organization to support Tanya and back them up when they made attempts to slow things down, so that Tanya didn’t have to tackle this problem alone.

Within two weeks, Tanya was able to:

🥳go into meetings with their boss feeling confident & capable
🥳speak up boldly and create boundaries
🥳feel safe, grounded, and no longer triggered by their boss

This was Tanya’s progress, based on their nervous system. Yours will probably look completely different.

But if you’re craving to feel like you can speak up in any room, with anyone around (including white dudes) – then we should definitely talk about 1:1 coaching.


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