I'm a financial consultant. I make my clients' problems go away. My clients are always in a disaster situation before they engage my firm. As a result, one of the key items I'm always pushing is for my clients to hire new talent. Since we're not a long-term solution, it's important that my clients hire the right people to take over before our job is done. Everyone at my firm knows I'm a happily married gay man. My clients rarely know that I'm a happily married gay man- I don't chit-chat with my clients.
Last week the Director of Financial reporting interviewed several professionals, and he made a comment to me: "I like the last guy, but he's a little too jolly for me. I don't know if I can work with that every day."
Did you catch that? "A little too jolly" is code for "gay." I was paralyzed by that statement. I didn't know what to say, because I was so caught off guard. I never know how to handle these situations. I could disempower my client with a few statements, but is that what's best for the situation? Again, I didn't know what to do...and I don't have a wise gay mentor to consult.
I just moved the conversation on.