A Digital And Social Content Strategist On Being Called "Too Emotional To Be A Leader"
Globe Telecom's Maxine Casaclang believes that when it comes to being a leader and a team player, being in tune with your emotions is not a bad thing
When you meet Maxine Casaclang, you instantly feel at ease. She takes your hand, compliments your skin, and listens intently when you speak. She is the exact kind of hype girl every woman needs.
At the recent She Talks Asia x Bumble Bizz Tribe Meet-Up, she is introduced as "hilarious," and she is! The 30-year-old digital and social content strategist is hilarious as much as she is warm, cordial, and intelligent. Most of all, she’s in touch with her feelings, sharing candidly that one of the bravest things she’s done in recent months is getting out of the dark space that she’s been in since December of last year.
To the untrained eye, being in touch with one’s feelings can easily translate into being “emotional”—a word that is shrouded in stigma and negativity, especially when applied to women in the workplace.
But Maxine—or Max, as she is fondly called by friends, longtime or new—wants you to know that it’s not a weakness, despite the connotation that’s attached to it. She, of course, knows this from experience. “You’re too emotional to be a leader,” someone once told her. It hurt at first, Max admits, but she’s not one to sulk and wallow.
“When I tried to recalibrate, I thought, ‘Why did I get this feedback? What is it about the way I work, the way I interact with people that made that person say that to me as a weakness?” she says. “It opened myself to evaluation as well.”
“When I was trying to evaluate how I was evaluated,” she tells Metro.Style, “I thought that maybe it could’ve been phrased better, as opposed to saying ‘You’re too emotional to be a leader,’ because being in tune with your emotions is not a bad thing. It’s the core of a human being: being able to feel.”
Max admits that it wasn’t easy at first, and she’s far from perfected it. “It’s not something that I learned right away,” she admits. “Emotion 'yun eh, you can’t just turn it off.” But she armed herself with introspection and self-awareness, and channeled her energies elsewhere, instead of being angry at being called something seemingly so negative.
“During that time,” she shares, “there was a project that was being built by our team and I was the lead for it. Ginalingan ko na lang. It was a super successful project kasi d’un ko binuhos 'yung emosyon ko: in the research, wanting to get it beautifully done, working with my collaborators and everything.”
And Max might not have been able to pivot as successfully as she did if she hadn’t known exactly what her worth was, and how valuable she was to her company. The University of the Philippines alumna admits that her favorite part of her job is being able to tell stories through the content that she creates. “There are many more stories to be told and must be told, especially today,” she says.
We caught up with Maxine Casaclang at the recent She Talks Asia x Bumble Bizz Tribe Meet Up event that focused on the topic of "Negotiating Your Worth." The event was aimed at giving participants the confidence and negotiation skills they need in order to earn a just compensation, and gain financial success. Joining Maxine in the lineup of speakers were The Purposeful Creative founder Arriane Serafico, Frangipangi El Nido Managing Partner Pam Begre, and Project Vanity founder Liz Lanuzo.
She Talks Asia is a women empowerment movement that provides a space for inspiration and support among women across multiple platforms. Bumble, on the other hand, is the women-first social networking app with over 63 million users that connects people across dating, friendship and professional networking. In 2017, Bumble launched Bizz, a fresh take on networking, with an emphasis on finding professional opportunities over job hunting.
Main photo courtesy of She Talks Asia