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'Nice girls' finish last in the workplace, says corporate coach

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HC Online | 16 Jun 2011, 01:00 AM Agree 0
'Nice girls' finish last in the workplace, according to American corporate coach and author Dr Lois Frankel.
  • Stephanie Rice | 17 Jun 2011, 04:09 PM Agree 0
    Yes, l agree with Dr Frankel's comments. As women, it is hard to find the balance between being 'nice' and getting your message across in the corporate world in an assertive manner without standing on sensitive toes. I find that males particularily are not used to women showing their assertiveness as it is not common place and we are often pointed out as crossing the line or being rude, when in truth, we state the facts and simply ask for what we want and deserve most times. My gut tells me when l am right or being walked on and l use this to reverse the situation and command respect by trying to make other people accountable and gaining empathy from the other side to see things differently from the norm. It can be stressful being assertive, especially when you may be quiet by nature or do not have the business skills to handle difficult situations. This is why l focus on my professional development in these areas to cope with corporate stress and various personalities. Leadership focus for women in the workplace falls way behind compared to men, hence l think this is one of the reasons we have low numbers of women on Boards as the corporate culture cultivates males for many high level Executive positions and views women as the 'nuture' seekers, even on a subconscious level.
  • Michael | 29 Jun 2011, 04:40 PM Agree 0
    I agree with the need to be assertive. I would caution against confusing this with taking on all those really nasty characteristics of some men in the workplace and simply become another pushy, aggressive person. Assertiveness needs to find that balance of advocacy and inquiry. Far too many men for far too long have promoted and cultivated the hard line, win/lose, get tough or get out approach which also needs to be tempered. Don't fall into the trap of mimicking the bad habits of men.
  • Lisa | 30 Jun 2011, 02:25 PM Agree 0
    I agree absolutely, and it's worse when you work in the Human Resources field. If you try to be a strong, confident HR professional who keeps their working relationships just that, then you're classed as a bitch by all and sundry.
  • Tehkella | 30 Jun 2011, 02:49 PM Agree 0
    I'm a female IT and information management professional in a male-dominated traditional "old school" organisation, and I am treated much different to my male counterparts. Just yesterday I was instructed to make coffee for visitors. My attempts at being direct and assertive seem to be met with huge resistance and I get an enormous amount of pushback - essentially I'm being forced back down the ladder into an admin role and my knowledge and skills (and years of experience) are for nought. Very disappointing.
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