HAVE YOU EVER ASKED ANY of your female friends, family members and/or work colleagues how many times that they have felt that they had been overlooked for promotions, ignored or not invited to any important department meetings? Before there was a book entitled Lean In there was NICE GIRLS DON’T GET THE CORNER OFFICE: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make that Sabotage their Careers by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.
THERE HAVE BEEN MANY BOOKS WRITTEN on this subject, but they tend to represent one person’s viewpoint. What makes Dr. Frankel’s book important, pertinent and insightful is that she has compiled the compilation of real-life experiences of many women. This book doesn’t spend a lot of time giving excuses for why women have made minimal gains in the corporate world compared to their male counterparts. Rather, it was written to help women take back control of their careers, gain the confidence necessary to forge ahead and become the architect of their own destinies, to learn from those who came before them and know that they have the freedom of choice. It is society that drives the choice, not the choice that drives society…and as a woman, you have a voice!
THE MAIN REASON WOMEN have a hard time getting to the corner office is the way little girls are conditioned and trained to behave around men, as well as in the workplace. A woman’s ability to navigate through this quagmire is a result of how girls are trained while they are small, conditioned while they are young women and reinforced as grown women in the workplace. Whether in corporate America, running a business, or a small-medium sized company, women unconsciously commit any one or a multitude of these “mistakes” on a daily basis without even thinking about it.
NICE GIRLS DON’T GET THE CORNER OFFICE demystifies the unwritten culture code of the male dominated workplace. The book is broken down into two simple parts. First there is a self-assessment test to uncover which behaviors may hinder any career advancement opportunities. The “mistakes” are listed along with the best course of action to counteract the negative repercussions, as well as best practice coaching tips. However, this information is only valuable if it’s used.
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- MISTAKE #60 – APOLOGIZING: “Even in the face of obvious errors and poor performance, men will deny or minimize the mistake rather than assume responsibility or apologize. When women do this it erodes their self-confidence and the confidence others have in them.”
- MISTAKE #59 – ASKING PERMISSION: “Men don’t ask for permission. They ask for forgiveness.”
- MISTAKE #53 – WORKING in STEREOTYPICAL ROLES or DEPARTMENTS: “Never volunteer to make coffee, copies or take notes. If asked, suggest the responsibility be rotated or assigned based on seniority.”
- MISTAKE #49 – REFUSING HIGH-PROFILE ASSIGNMENTS: “Being asked to facilitate an important meeting, to make a critical client presentation, or to make a presentation to your senior management are all examples of high-profile assignments you can’t afford to pass up.”
A KEY TAKEAWAY IS “about how women live according to the rules established by men. Like air pollution, if you live in it and breathe it long enough, you come to believe that’s just how air is supposed to be…without even realizing it, living our lives this way narrowly circumscribes the choices women make.” Dr. Frankel did an excellent job with the structure of this book, it is very easy to follow, as well as a great reference guide to help the reader identify which “mistakes” a woman may regularly make. You may not be able to get back lost promotions, but you can always become better prepared when unfair situations surface. “We teach people how to treat us, you will never change what you tolerate.”
Permission to use excerpts granted by the author.