Miriam was a regional sales manager who worked at her company's local office in Hong Kong. She was answerable to her boss, the regional manager, but felt superior to colleagues who worked at the local level, and even superior to the local manager. Her job was going well until the regional manager left, without being replaced, and she was told to report to the local manager. 'They didn't get on together,' says Hong Kong executive coach Charlie Lang, from whom Miriam sought help. 'It was a matter of mutual lacking in respect. He wanted her to leave and so made her life miserable. 'Also her colleagues didn't like her. It probably had something to do with her behaviour. She acted superior because she worked for the regional office and not the local office.' Miriam's colleagues began to take lunch breaks and not invite her. Her boss would give her tasks that were quite obviously not her responsibility. He would nit-pick over expense claims and travel allowances. Miriam decided to solve the problem rather than walk away. 'First, she needed an outlet to express herself, someone who would understand and relate to her. There was a lot of emotion that had accumulated over the months,' says Lang. 'The next stage was to encourage her to reflect on how she got to this place. I indicated that it had a lot to do with her beliefs about her role in the office and her beliefs about other people there.' Lang said he discovered that, contrary to appearances, Miriam lacked self-esteem. She felt weak and inferior inside but to mask her feelings had tried to project an image full of high self-esteem. She appeared arrogant which had not endeared her to her colleagues. 'She denied it a first, but over time she agreed and decided that it was a part of herself that needed development.' Miriam then spoke to her colleagues one-on-one, admitting to them her shortcomings and telling them she would like to see things change but would need their co-operation. Her boss, the most daunting of all, she approached last. It was not easy, said Lang, but her working life with her colleagues and boss improved, so she stayed in the job.