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Exploring Life & Business with Amber Tichenor of To Be, Coaching + Consulting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Tichenor.

Hi Amber, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi! My name is Dr. Amber Tichenor and I am the owner of, “To Be, Coaching + Consulting.” I specialize in female relationships, specifically female rivalry and how to overcome it.

I initially began collecting female rivalry stories about 15 years ago, circa 2007, as research interviews for my Ph.D. dissertation. For my topic, I needed to focus on an issue in the working environment and I knew I wanted to also focus on women because I am very passionate about women’s issues, especially those pertaining to the workplace.

Up until that point, while I’d certainly been exposed to certain types of “passive-aggressive, non-tangible, mean-girl, or Queen Bee behaviors,” I’d not yet experienced a full on rivalry that was targeted directly toward me, in or out of the workplace. The purpose of my research study was to give voice to these women who’d experienced rivalry within a working environment.

Although I hadn’t been on the receiving end of it, I saw firsthand the outcomes of the behavior. I saw what it did to the women on the receiving end. How cruel the behavior was, how passive-aggressive and disruptive… not only to the targeted individual involved but to the organizational culture. I became curious as to why this sort of behavior seemed to occur predominantly between women. While it’s been shown that some men do act inappropriately in the workplace towards women, typically they do not show these types of behaviors to other men or even women, for that matter.

Utterly astonishing to me was the fact that the negative behavior continually seemed to just be “swept under the rug” because it wasn’t talked about. There it was, this big pink fat looming elephant, just sitting there… but people tip-toed around it. Organizations were doing absolutely nothing to deal with it and the women experiencing it had zero support. By ignoring it, the organizations were endorsing the negative behaviors… and so it continued. It was this endless cycle of negativity that motivated me to research and write about it.

And then… fast forward to about 5 years ago, I had a very ugly female rivalry experience that happened to me at work, and I didn’t even realize it was occurring. (Yes! Even after I’d researched it so thoroughly)! It was one of the best, worst things that could have happened to me. I thought I knew everything about this type of behavior but experiencing it first hand, took it to a whole new level.

I quit my job and that is how “To Be,” came to be.

It’s my mission to help women feel empowered, confident and included. I’m committed to helping women free the world from frenemies so they can find their sisterhood of support.

My history in the corporate world taught me a lot about how people work, lead and interact with each other. I’ve found it’s not enough to just break out of a comfort zone… we all need support so that we can have great relationships, without rivalry or sabotage.

I think the most meaningful credential I can share with you about who I am isn’t that I have a PhD in Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychology or about my book, “Behind Frenemy Lines.”

I’m a daughter, a wife, a mother and a confident woman who surrounds herself with other incredible women so we can support, inspire and uplift one another, fiercely.

I live in Richmond, VA with my husband, 2 kiddos and fur-baby Stella.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road but I think that all of the struggles, bumps and detours help to shape you and ultimately pave the way for more positive outcomes. I think the struggles and overcoming them, help you learn and appreciate even more, all of the effort and work that you put into something.

A huge struggle for me was in the Spring of 2020. I was slowly building my business when COVID hit. Like so many people, it at first, paralyzed me. I wasn’t sure what to do or how to move forward. But then I decided to take that time to write my book, “Behind Frenemy Lines: Rising Above Female Rivalry To Be Unstoppable Together” released by Morgan James Publishing.

“Behind Frenemy Lines” came about as a result of my PhD research and dissertation. After I wrote my dissertation I continued to collect stories from women about their experiences in all aspects of life. I was so inspired to share their stories and highlight this important topic. That female rivalry doesn’t just exist at work – it happens to all women in all types of settings.

The entire book is inspired by real life events and stories – mine and other amazing women who so bravely shared their experiences, of which I share consistently, throughout the book.

As you know, we’re big fans of To Be, Coaching + Consulting. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
My business is called, “To Be, Coaching + Consulting.” I am an author, speaker, consultant and coach. I specialize in female rivalry and help mid-large size organizations overcome this negative behavior to be better together.

I specifically dive into the problem of, “Why good women walk.” I focus on what female rivalry is, how it shows up, how it feels and why it’s important as it pertains to the individual, team and organization as a whole. I address the organizational culture and psychological safety concerns, or lack thereof, as the crux of existing female rivalry behaviors.

My niche, and what sets me apart from others, is my years of vast research and focus on female rivalry behaviors. To my knowledge, no one else is addressing this topic head-on, about what it is and how to overcome it. I also have 20+ years of experience as an Organizational Change Strategy and Leadership consultant where I helped guide businesses through transformational change. It’s the blend of these skills that make my offerings unique.

I am most proud of building a brand that is transparent about a difficult to talk about topic that impacts a large majority of women professionally, socially, and with their friends and families. My brand helps women, or all involved, to promote collaboration over competition, to empower women to find their voice, leave the rivalry behind, and team up with a community of like-minded women who support each other to be unstoppable together.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
People always ask me about some general tips/ advice about female rivalry and/or how to know if you are dealing with it.

It’s very hard, especially if you are knee-deep in it, to vocalize these types of behaviors as they are often very passive/aggressive and intangible, which makes it hard to address or tell others about it.

1. Stick up for yourself and let “her” know you see what’s going on
2. Document what’s going on. Especially if it’s not very tangible, over time you’ll see a pattern or story develop
3. Recognize her intent – try to talk to her one on one to see how you can get along or work better together

And always, always keep in mind, the chances are very high that “her” behavior has nothing to do with you, and absolutely everything to do with her. You may not be able to change her behavior but you can certainly control how you respond or what you do as a result of it.

I think one of the hardest things women experience and feel when they are involved in a female rivalry situation is – they lose their voice or feel like they don’t have a circle or pod or group of women to turn to for support.

My words of encouragement are, please don’t give up and know you are not alone. There are women out there who uplift, expand and empower, versus tear down.

Pricing:

  • $25 – Author signed book/copy of “Behind Frenemy Lines: Rising Above Female Rivalry To Be Unstoppable Together” (contact me)
  • $199 – “Good Women Walk” Webinar (1.5-2 hours) per person
  • $1500-2500+ – Presentations (virtual + in-person)
  • $1500 – $3500+ – Workshops (virtual + in-person)
  • $7500+ – Analysis/ Consulting (virtual + in-person)

Contact Info:


Image Credits
On Three Photography
Kegham Hovsepian
Wing Ong

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