A very competent client once told me how she falls apart when dealing with upper management. She suddenly blurts out the wrong words, fails to make a cohesive point, and leaves in what she feels is a pool of offensive sweat.
Some version of this happens to many of us. Perfectly confident people regress to a younger version of themselves when engaging with an authority figure. This unfortunate high-jacking of our adult consciousness can keep us stuck in many ways until we learn how to manage our response to authority figures.
If this happens to you, here is a quick tip. Level the playing field. See everybody as a corporate citizen, or a global one. If we don’t put another person above us, we won’t activate childhood feelings that can make us clamor to be liked, loved, or seen. Think of your boss as having a different role. You are equally important as a human being. Just ask a family member, or a good friend, and take back the wheel from that smaller part of you.