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If the title of the book offends you, great!
You might be a nice girl who needs to rethink a few things about how you operate in the business world. STOP! Before you go off on a tangent about how being a "Bi*ch" in the workplace is not how you operate, no one asked you to do that. Yet your reaction might be another indicator that you are missing a few clues on how to gain more respect, power and acknowledged know-how.
You don't have to leave one position on the nice scale and slide all the way over to the other end to become a dragon in heels. Got your attention yet?...'Cool your jets' and keep reading.
As a recovering Nice Girl (along with a few other sub personalities, hint: I will never run out of blog topics!), I liked the way that Dr. Lois laid it on the line. I love even more how she gets to the root of what is she believes. Don't skip the book's Introduction!
I am not writing a book review. Sorry, I am no literary critic. Instead you get the coach perspective on this advice. What I am learning and integrating.
I am always looking for resources. This one came via an Executive friend of mine. She has made it up the corporate ladder in a male dominated industry. She could still relate to the self-sabotaging moves she made and continues to make. That speaks volumes to what this little book can deliver, add in the fact I took the time to read it, write about it..well, you get the picture, I like it. In fact, I have already recommended it to a few women.
Dr Lois lays out the kind of feedback you wish your friends and co-workers would give, especially the men. It focuses around the concept that women rarely get a clear path forward from being a girl to becoming a woman, especially not in the work world. If anything, we can learn to drop the cutesy, reserved, "No, I just couldn't..." stuff that we are taught. That means we step into a world where our actions, thoughts, look and self-branding are more neutral and less...well girlie!
Hey, I have a lot to learn and I tend towards assertive already. For some reason in the business world, I was still sensing that my power was missing.
After taking the assessment that pointed to my weak spots, here are a couple of my revelations:
Mistake #47 Using only your nickname or first name
Ouch, I always introduced myself as Shannan. Suzie Orman, the US personal finance guru does a great exercise where woman have to stand-up (the first body language change), look someone in the eye, introduce themselves by first and last name and give a decent handshake. Manicured hands or not...learn a decent handshake and some confidence. That means it is 'Shannan Brown' now, OWN IT, damn it, will ya own it!
Mistake #27 Feeding Others
My 'Betty Crocker' gene is seriously mutated so this is less of a concern for me. It didn't stop me however from wanting to whip up a batch of muffins for a morning meeting the other day. I stopped myself. Most of the men attending probably aren't staying up late worrying about soaking raisins for bran muffins...I went without food. Didn't seem to matter. In fact, I felt great trying out the new communications tips versus worrying about who ate breakfast.
Mistake #52 Giving Away Your Ideas
A client said to me, "I value what you do Shannan, now you value what you do enough to charge me for that last 20 minutes." Ok, message received! Thanks for that.
Mistake #77 Tilting Your Head
Guilty! Always to the left...what is up with that? Dr Lois says head tilting isn't a bad thing unless you are trying to deliver a direct message. It can be quite effective if you need to soften a message or get someone to open up. Watch a candid interview with a female reporter, she is going to use it when it is appropriate. Watch how she doesn't use it to get a straight answer on a tough topic. For me, head upright now unless the message matches the body language.
My friend's favourite
Mistake # 26 Decorating Your Office Like a Living Room
Love that one! Photos, windchimes, pillows, decorator accessories...you name it, we women can turn a warehouse into a designer mansion yet does it really serve us in the workplace? Think about it.
Dr Lois doesn't expect herself nor anyone else to master all the tips and tricks. She is wanting you to recognize a new way to play the game of business. And yes, it is a game. Now, stop again before you head off a playful path about a playful game. Good businesses play it well and need good players...get off the bench and give this book a try.
Coach Shannan Brown