Hey, girl, hey!
Welcome! I’m Nadia De Ala, CPCC.
Things to know about me:
I’m a Certified Co-Active Coach through The Coaches Training Institute.
In my past lives, I was a server, freelancing audio engineer and most recently in senior sales for corporate enterprise and rapid-growth tech startups.
June 2017, I listened to my heart, took a big ass risk and ditched the corporate world without another job.
I did have one plan, though: to give myself intentional space to heal, re-align with my values and work hard to live a purpose-filled life. And, I did exactly that.
Now, I’m living my calling to empower WOCs to connect with their vision, voice and value. Every. Damn. Day.
Anywho, enough about me. I can’t wait to learn about you!
“If I'm shinin', everybody gonna shine.” - Lizzo
I’ve been in your shoes, and it isn’t easy!
We both know that success often comes with a bit of chaos, conflict and challenges for everyone. If it were easy to reach our dreams, we would’ve done it already, right?
On top of that, as a Woman of Color, I imagine you can relate to one of these scenarios I experienced:
I settled for less compensation than I wanted, because I was “so grateful” for the opportunity (sigh…)
I had the gut-wrenching experience of finding out my non-WOC counterparts were getting paid waaay more than me (UGH!)
I’ve stayed quiet during conflicts at work, to avoid being labeled some B.S. stereotype like “angry brown women” or “loud Asian” (grrrrrrrrrr….)
I’ve felt excluded and worked harder to get support and guidance (the usual)
If you’ve survived these kinds of pains, you’re surely one tough cookie for it!
...And, it’s likely you’ll continue rubbing up against those professional challenges that are deep-rooted in structural racism and sexism.
It’s a hard road to stay on, Sis, but even if the odds are against you, I want you to know that you 100% belong!
I know how it feels to not be your full self at work.
…and to not have support that understands exactly where you’re at.
I thought I had to hide important parts of me or conform to “survive” and reach success, but all it did was hold me back and live a completely divided life.
Here’s the breakdown of my previously disconnected life. There was:
Immigrant daughter Nadia
Wife of immigrant Nadia.
It was EXHAUSTING taking off one mask and putting on the other, managing all these intersecting Nadia’s who had different sets of values, mindsets, weaknesses and power.
The turning point…a.k.a. the sob story turned AWESOME.
Six months into my new role as the first Account Manager of a growing technology start up, I realized I needed to become my own leader. One who was 100% herself.
This was the opportunity of my dreams to help build out the role and grow a team with my director. But...we weren’t doing so well.
Our team wasn’t hitting goals, we were short staffed from recent turnover and I didn’t see my leader doing anything different to overcome that.
When he wasn’t listening to my initial feedback, nor giving me the support I asked for, I tried to “flex” my communication styles:
By being nice and coming in with a critique AND a helpful solution.
By offering to do even more work and take some hardship off of him.
By using the good ol’ sales practice “treat others the way they want to be treated.”
By bringing humor and making light of the serious concerns we faced together.
Nothing. I got nothing different, and stayed doing the same things on a sinking ship.
And, let me tell you, as a Woman of Color, I had to overcome some INTENSE fears and habits of confronting my White male boss that way.
I was going against the “work hard, heads down” and “don’t disrespect your superiors” mentality I grew up to learn from my hard working immigrant parents.
So, when I overcame my fears and tried my best to respectfully speak up, and nothing happened, I started to feel like I really didn’t belong.
I felt resentful that I was being submissive. Hurt that I was being ignored. Unhappy that I wasn’t showing up as my whole and greatest self to work (and it kinda killed my soul. No big deal).
I started to stay quiet and stay more to myself, because what was the point if he wasn’t going to listen to me? I chose to stop using my voice.
It felt like I failed, like I wasn’t enough to be the first Account Manager.
Then I had lunch with my CEO who asked for my honest feedback on what was going on since all the turnover. And, I was completely honest.
My CEO gave me one simple challenge: “Tell him without flexing your communication. Just tell him your frustrations and what you want directly.”
Direct. No filter. No playing nice. Just being myself and 100% honest.
I loved that idea, as scary as it sounded. I showed up this way in every other aspect of my life, and accepted the challenge to try it.
So, I rented the only meeting room available (the tiniest closet-like one!) and asked my boss to meet. He was sitting on the floor, and I was sitting opposite to him.
I told him:
How frustrated I was that he wasn’t listening to me in all the other ways I tried.
How our team was mediocre and why he had responsibility in that.
What I hoped we could look for in our new hires to build a strong, successful team.
Then I asked him to step up in new ways and laid out how I could help.
My boss listened, thanked me and acted. We built a powerful and influential relationship together for the next two years.
That conversation was the start of my leadership.
From that point, I did everything to develop my leadership skills and presence:
I stopped playing it safe and started playing it powerful.
I started to take space and communicate what I wanted.
I pushed my freakin’ limits and unlocked my power and potential.
Then I learned how to use that power to be in control, to speak up and lead others.
It took a lot of time, and I kept at it. Over three years, my achievements started piling up:
Received a promotion to Senior Sales and two 20%+ pay increases.
Built influential connections where people said, “Nadia, you’re always my go-to!”
Confidently handled difficult conversations with my manager, executives and team.
And, most importantly, I did all this in my own evolving leadership style, on my own terms.
Now it’s my mission to help other Women of Color professionals become leaders, too!
No matter what level of business you’re in, you have everything you need to be an empowered leader and achieve extraordinary things, every step in your career.
To live a fully connected life and make a powerful impact at work, at home and in the world.
It takes time and practice to learn leadership. With coaching, you’ll have guidance, resources, tools and 1-on-1 human support to claim your leadership style.
You’ll build your awareness, intuition, confidence and solidify all your learnings by moving forward in action.
You’ll build momentum and sustainable change that will carry on with you and spread in the ripple effect of your leadership, the impact you make on others.
I understand it’s ridiculously hard most times as a WOC to succeed, because I’ve been there.
And, I want you to know this: