Assertive, Needs-Based Conversations


Mike Staver: Hi, everybody, I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question. 

“I’m a female executive in a medical company. I was asked to head up a new project and I gladly accepted the role. I recently discovered that I’m significantly underpaid compared to my colleagues. I am 100% non-confrontational, and I’m wondering if I just let it go, or have a conversation with my boss?”

What are your thoughts? Have you ever watched Mondays with Mike before? Is this the first question?

What do you think Mike Staver is going to say? “Should I just ignore it? I’m 100% non-confrontational, should I just let it go or have a conversation with my boss?” Guesses. Anyone?

Crew: I think just let it go.

Mike: Just let it go. Yes, just keep being underpaid and treated unfairly.

Crew: I think complacency is a great way to live life.

Mike: I do, too.

Hey, what’s wrong with complacency and being treated unfair and treated like you’re a second-class citizen? Of course, you’re going to have a conversation with your boss. Now, let me say something. Confronting and being confrontational, are different avenues. I wouldn’t go into my boss’ office, guns ablaze and going, “What in the heck–?” I don’t know– You didn’t say if your boss is a man or a woman. You’re a female executive, but you didn’t tell me whether your boss is a man or woman. You must have the conversation, and it isn’t for the money.

If you get the money in the conversation, more power to you. If you do not get it, and you still have a meaningful, assertive needs-based conversation, a conversation around fairness, then you’re aligned. If you keep suppressing that, that’s going to create trouble. If I dare say to you, my loyal– What do you call it? Viewer. I bet you this isn’t the only place in your life where you do not assert yourself, or you take a backseat, or maybe you don’t do exactly what you need to do to have somewhat of a fair shot at being treated with equity.

I really want to encourage you to do that. The money is secondary or in third place. The real issue is treating yourself with the kind of love, respect, the respectful treatment that’s going to make you feel like a better human being. All right. That’s Mondays with Mike. I hope that was helpful.

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