My boss recently paid for me to go to a week long long leadership retreat, focused on becoming a better facilitator. I was at the retreat with folks almost twice mt age, I'm 29. I currently work as an organizational development consultant and do a lot of training around change management and leadership development. My boss is a great facilitator and said she learned almost everything from this retreat so I was excited to go.
Anyway, I had a really bad experience there. All the participants at the retreat paired up with another person to design a meeting for each other over the course of the week. We only had 20 mins to do it and the actual people who were leading the retreat were there to help and encourage every team. When it was my turn to present the leaders spoke through my presentation, kept making rude comments like "why r we doing this" and at one point yelled profanities. They did not do this for any other group and my partner and I never got to finish our design. In fact all the other people who were participating were as confused as I was as to why they were so unsupportive and crested an unsafe environment for us. I took the blunt of it as I was speaking at the time, and my partner got very uncomfortable.
Anyway I left feeling very unsettled. They apologized for their behavior but I do feel like this is not the first time this has happened to me. I look very young and sweet and I'm quiet by nature and I do feel prone to being taken advantage of. I've come to the conclusion that I need to learn to be more assertive. Does anyone have any tips?