- Fiona Grignard
Women in career: the people-pleaser syndrome & the gender gap
Did you know most women have the "Harmoniser" personality type base according to the Process Communication Certification?
44 % of the women have a Harmoniser base. That means their main strengths are warmth, compassion, sensitivity. They care for deep and trusting relationships. Which are all huuuuge assets, especially in this crazy world.
44% is a huge number. That means that as a woman your chances to have a harmoniser base yourself is pretty high! (If you want to be sure of it, contact me to talk about taking the PCM test!).
This is also something I have realized myself. Because I have a harmonizer base, I tend to be around and attract a lot of other harmoniser types, too.
* Is it just for women?
Now of course, there are also men with this Harmonizer personality type base. But way fewer: only 15% of them. Men, on the opposite, are much more likely to have a Thinker base of personality, much more rational which has been favored up until now in companies.
What is the Harmoniser personality type?
What does it mean to have a Harmoniser base? First of all, let's get back to the basics. According to PCM, there are 6 different personality types: Harmonizer, Thinker, Rebel, Persister, Imaginer, and Promoter. We all have these 6 types in us but the degree of each of them is different for each person. Our personality is therefore totally unique.
Among the 6 types, our base is what defines us the most, it is our comfort zone and it influences how we enter in contact with our world, how we communicate, what's important for us, our main strengths but also our motivational needs and stress behavior.
Typically warm, compassionate, and sensitive, people with a Harmoniser base have a serious need of (at least) 2 things : being appreciated for who they are as a person and taking care of the harmony of their 5 senses. When it's not there, that's when things can get sour.
Recognition of the person
Being recognized and appreciated for who you are as a person, for what you bring to the table as a human being, for your qualities.
For example, let's say your boss gives you a compliment. It will reach your heart directly if she/he says something about you and your personality.
"The energy you brought at the meeting was really great. We are so lucky to have you in the team"
The second need that is really important for people with a Harmoniser base is to make sure to take care of their 5 senses, and making sure they are in harmony.
You are generally very sensitive to your environment being harmonious. A desk that is well organized, plants or a beautifully decorated room, pleasant smells (lighting up a candle for example), playing soft music while you work. These kinds of things bring your energy up.
The people-pleaser syndrome & the gender gap
Why did we just talk about the different needs of people with a Harmoniser base? Because when those needs aren't met it provokes a very predictable stress response. And one of the typical stress responses for the Harmoniser is to over-please.
This harmoniser personality type also typically hates to disappoint, displease or upset others which, under pressure, can lead them to over adapt and avoid conflict, in an (unconscious) attempt to be appreciated.
What does it have to do with the gender gap?
Remember I said 44% of women had a Harmonizer type as their personality base? That means that for nearly 1 out of 2 women, the desire to nurture the relationship and avoid conflict is so strong that it can make them more likely to accept situations they don't really feel good in, in their personal lives but also at work. It will also be much harder for a harmoniser base to ask for a raise, negotiate a promotion or contract. They don't want to risk bothering the other person and they'd rather wait for the manager to notice them.
>> Do you recognize yourself in that description? Because I totally find my 27-year-old self in this! Read more about my story as a 27 year old young professional.
Saying yes to every opportunity even if it is not a good fit for us
A few days ago I shared a story about how I was offered a position to increase my responsibilities at work and go from HR Director to "Internal Director", also taking on the management of the Admin and accounting team.
A few years ago, I would have simply said yes, happy that my boss thought of me for more responsibilities. I would have felt honored and almost forced to kindly accept. "We do not turn down this kind of opportunity".
This time, I actually challenged the situation and asked him what exactly he had in mind, what he would be expecting me to do, and also, whether he really thought it was the best move for me, for him, and for the company.
Because you see, I don't like admin. That's always been the case. And I'm very honest about it. I embrace this part of my personality so much today that no one is holding any grudge against me for not being that good at it. It's just who I am. And of course, I work on it so that it doesn't become a problem in my life, but taking on the management of the admin team is a whole other level.
Sharing this story on my Instagram made me realized I am far from being the only one. I received so many feedbacks from women who had been in the same situation as I was before: accepting roles they didn't really care for or weren't really good at just because they didn't feel confident enough to say no.
If my 27-year-old self would have said yes, my 34-year-old self said "wait a second"!
If I accept a job I don't like or where I lack some key skills, I'm not going to be really good at it, I'm not going to perform to the level that is excepted of me. My manager is going to be unhappy. I'm going to be unhappy. And this might deteriorate from there.
By challenging the offer at an early point, when I can still say no to it, even though it can be a bit uncomfortable, I actually do my future-self a favor and I know I will thank myself for it later.
This is where knowing your personality type and your stress responses is important!
Whether your Harmoniser type is full-on or not, if you have that tendency to say yes to please other people, this is for you.
How to work with your personality types?
First, I've got good news for you! We do not need to get stuck in this pattern! You can be aware of it without accepting it as faith!
It is very much possible to change and grow. This is exactly what I did.
I wouldn't have the career that I have now, the financial freedom that I have now, the happiness and fulfilling life that I have now without getting to know myself better and learning important tools to master my "flaws".
Before anything else, you need to believe you can change. Nope, you don't need to be a people-pleaser your entire life! This is a HUGE aspect of my mastermind The Blooming Leader.
First we bring awareness on the identity that you are accepting of yourself. If you see yourself as someone who at the end of the day will say yes to any opportunities because you are desperate then you will end up in situations that are not fulfilling you.
Then, we work on creating an identity that works for you and not against you.
What kind of person do you want to be?
The support group
The other really important aspect of success is who you are surrounded by.
I've decided to organize the Blooming Leader Mastermind as a group coaching for women.
Women have often been conditioned to be competitive towards other successful women. How many women feel jealous or threatened in front of a powerful woman? How many times have you observed or participated in gossiping?
Or the opposite: we are "too nice" and we are too afraid to promote ourselves to hurt someone's else feeling.
But having healthy relationships with other women is a key element to your success and well-being. It can become one of your strongest support system.
Especially for women with a harmoniser base, maintaining close relationships and receiving that support is a great way to feel seen and understood.
I am so excited to share with you my Mastermind The Blooming Leader. If you are ready to take your career but also your life to the next level - to shine, feel happier, more balanced on a day-to-day life, then click here to learn more.
Or come chat with me on Instagram or via email!
... and don't forget! Luck is an attitude!
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