Tiara Syndrome: What is it? What can you do if you suffer from it?

prompt journal - career and personal development

So you have heard of Imposter Syndrome… but what about Tiara Syndrome?

Well apparently Carol Frohlinger and Deborah Kolb, the founders of Negotiating Women, Inc. coined the phrase to describe how women often operate in the workplace, when it comes to salary and raise negotiations. I keep getting told that women are terrible at negotiating salary. Not to generalise but based on my own experience I would assume that this is true. I would class myself as someone who has tiara syndrome.

So what is Tiara Syndrome?

Symptoms include keeping your head down, delivering excellent work and hoping that the right people will notice — and place a tiara on your head!

In pay negotiations, it is the belief that you would get paid what you are worth – without having to haggle and negotiate. That sounds fair right?

In terms of getting a promotion you might not like to “shout” about what you have been doing and may not have made it clear that you want a promotion and therefore get overlooked – it is important to make sure that people know what you have done and what you want to do. If you don’t tell people – they don’t know. They are not mind readers.

What can you do if you suffer from Tiara Syndrome?

  • own your career
  • acknowledge the “tiara syndrome” problem and come up with an action plan.
  • don’t like talking about it? use technology instead. copy your boss into relevant emails (and share your colleagues successes too). Share or write about it on LinkedIn or Twitter if you use a professional account.
  • share other people’s successes as well. You might find it easier to sing other people’s praises, additionally in return these people are likely to feel grateful to you and will join in by sharing your successes as well.
  • keep a career journal to keep a record of your accomplishments – this is great for building evidence required for negotiations, it can be confidence boosting and be useful for CVs, appraisals and other career development opportunities.
  • stop comparing yourself to others.
  • plan for and maximise the formal opportunities for negotiation (whether it is for a payrise or a promotion). As you will be expected to raise these points in your discussion it will not come as a suprise to your boss. They should be equally open to discussing it.
  • build your personal brand and your internal network.
  • find a mentor or sponsor to support you.
  • don’t just do what is “expected of you” volunteer for strategic or extra credit projects.

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