#176 CIS-Centering, Pronouns and Leadership with Tamala Poljak

#176 CIS-Centering, Pronouns and Leadership with Tamala Poljak

After decades as an artist and musician, Tamala Poljak decided to become a therapist because they’re passionate about working with people who have felt othered.

Now they almost exclusively work with the LGBTQIA+ population and a lot with triadic partnerships, polyamory and different ways that people create family and home.

Coming from a generation that couldn’t even imagine going by a pronoun that was more congruent with who they are, they help their clients find themselves and know what it feels like to be genuinely SEEN. 

In this conversation, Tamala and I talk about CIS-centering, pronouns and what it means to be a leader.

Also, being present with the person in front of you and not be so quick to make an assumption about their identity based on whether they wear makeup or have muscles, or how they dress or style their hair.

Listen in.

Tamala and I talk about

  • Why an apology when you misgender someone means they have to take care of you — and what they really need from you
  • The practice of loving this body that carries your soul, not just “I have cellulite so I’m going to love myself”
  • Examining how we label “good,” “bad,” and “wrong” in the context of a world that says, “This is how it should be.”
  • The safety & relief created when a CIS hetero person puts their pronouns next to their name on a zoom call
  • But also, why it’s not just about getting the pronouns right, it’s about being present with actual people
  • The privilege CIS folks have to never have to think about what it means to be CIS gender
  • Why the leaders with the most impact are teachable as well as teachers
  • The responsibility we hold as dominant identities to educate ourselves and create spaces that make it safer for others to feel welcomed as they are

Deeper support from me:

  • My Messenger Mastermind is an intimate circle of up to 6 women coaches & leaders who want to feel solid, confident & consistent in their messaging and grow a movement that matters ~ both to the world and to their business’ bottom line.
  • As a Copywriter + Messaging Expert, I craft websites that make your dream clients feel SEEN and convey the true value and impact of your work so that it moves them to sign up. 

Tamala’s Links:

What sparked for you from my conversation with Tamala?  Let us know in the comments of this episode’s post over on Instagram.


Hi! I’M ADRIA DECORTE, M.S., Message Clarity Coach

Drawing on my experience as a TEDx speaker and my architecture background, I help women coaches make a message that feels messy CLEAR so they can reach more people, scale their business, and start a movement.


Take the free quiz to uncover the specific way your message comes out messy + how to use your unique messaging superpower.

Hi! I’M ADRIA SOPHIA, Message Clarity Guide, TEDx Speaker, and host of the Quiet Messenger Podcast. I lead cozy Messenger Masterminds where I help introverted women leaders & sensitive souls tap into the message that moves them then clearly & courageously share it so they can call in their people…and their next level of impact.