I have been doing talks on Cultural Intelligence (CQ) for a while now.
Today was the first time I sensed - from a member of the audience in the Q&A session - the undertone of"who is this white, middle aged, middle class woman to talk to us about CQ". I think he almost added - "thiswhite, middle class, middle aged woman with a toffee voice" - but he didn't quite go that far.
I could feel the hairs going up on the back of my neck. But for once I didn't bite back (maybe I am finally growing up). I didn't try to prove that I had suffered too by showing him my scars (like everyone - I have some).
And this was not just because I knew that he would win - his scars were far deeper and more painful than my slight ones.
But because in many ways he is right; I am a white, middle aged, middle class woman whose voice has got more toffee over the years but the fact is, we do need to talk about CQ and if we're not careful, no one will be able to talk about it because no one is really fully qualified.
Have you ever been in a position where you didn't feel qualified to talk because of perceived privilege? Did you back down?
Let us know in comments below...