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Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal Hardcover – October 30, 2012
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Ten Tips for Winning with Mean Girls at Work
Have you encountered a mean girl at work? A mean girl could be someone who seems jealous of your accomplishments, a woman who excludes you from important meetings, a female colleague who puts you down in public, or just someone whose poor work habits constantly get you into trouble. What ever her behavior is, it sets you off – leaving you feeling upset and unable to be your best professional self. Dealing with another woman’s cold or unkind behavior can be challenging, but you don’t have to be held hostage by it. Here are ten tips for WINNING with any mean girl at work:
1. Don’t take her bait – When a mean girl attacks, she’s looking for a reaction from you. If she attacks you in a meeting, she’ll want to see you angry or crying or otherwise upset. Getting a reaction from you gratifies the mean side of her.
2. Don’t believe that what she says is true – This rule is especially important when dealing with a mean girl who likes to gossip and spread rumors. If she comes to you with gossip, don’t get drawn in.
3. Don’t engage in negative speak about her –Why? Because you’re fueling the power struggle between the two of you. And you may end up looking like the pettier person.
4. Be friendly without being friends –If you discover that one of your colleagues acts in ways you don’t like, you don’t have to shut her out. Rather, you can maintain a cordial relationship with her where you only discuss the work at hand.
5. Aim for professional behavior at all times – We call this taking the High Road. Acting professional towards all women in your workplace – regardless of how you feel about them – is a key component of “winning” with mean girls.
6. Keep communication short and to the point –Aim for short, focused interactions with this woman where you only discuss essential work-related topics. Think, ‘Proper inter-office communication – no more, no less.”
7. Find a safe person to confide in – It’s best to find a confidante outside of the office setting who can hear your story and offer solid advice.
8. Don’t roll your eyes when she speaks –Rolling your eyes conveys impatience and irritation with what the other woman is saying. Check yourself to make sure you don’t do that or engage in other forms of non-verbal attacking.
9. Don’t avoid her – In an attempt to limit your exposure to the mean girl’s barbs, you may want to hide whenever you see her or find ways to minimize any contact with her. But if you avoid her, she’ll know that you fear her – and that puts you in a more vulnerable position.
10. Don’t take anything she says or does personally – this is the ultimate lesson when dealing with a mean girl. Whatever she’s doing, it’s not about you – even though her taunts have your name on them. Mean girls generally have poor self-esteem and are easily threatened. You aren’t the first person she’s mean to, and you won’t be the last.
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Top Customer Reviews
Both Crowley and Elster bring to the table the best and worst of both their professional worlds in psychotherapy and executive and management coaching providing real valid answers, guidance, suggestions, coping mechanisms, and an extra resource I feel is vital to any HR department.
Having worked with and known dozens of women like this in the past and present, it was refreshing to know I am not alone in my feelings and that there truly are women out there that have bona fide issues that affect us all in and out of the workplace. While the thoughts that run through our heads of what we would like to do to these "mean girls" obviously is best kept a thought, the answers provided in this book are a major step forward for all relationships.
I give this book 5-stars and can't emphasize how valuable of a resource tool "Mean Girls at Work" would be for all women, business owners, management, and HR.
I took a job that was far beneath my educational level and former income so that I could learn more about the business. I wanted to see if a career change in that field was right for me. Almost immediately I had to deal with trouble from some (not all) of my female colleagues.
Women in a workplace will quickly find ways to determine where you fit on the food chain. It's universal. You'll get pointed questions about where you live, where you went to school and what your husband does for a living, Facebook stalking, engineered BFFs with someone in HR, you name it, some women will go to considerable lengths to get the "goods" on you. They WILL find out if you have money, education and/or social status without you flaunting it.
Once they have determined that you may have more resources than they have, it is true that you are wise to not say much of anything about your life. No matter what you say you sound like you are bragging. It forces you to participate in one sided conversations where all you can do is smile and say some variation of "Wow, that 's great!" That is not a huge deal for me as focussing on others is what I prefer.
Bottom line: any coworker should be able to have photos of her home(s) and her life in her office without being accused of meanness. That's just ridiculous.
My second problem with this book (and others of this genre) is that the authors invariably tiptoe around physical beauty and the reactions it can provoke among female coworkers. It isn't dealt with at all in this book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great advice. Not sure if any of it was ground breaking but it did help me!Published 8 days ago by Jimena Gongora
I've had several instances with mean girls at work in my life. The problems they cause hard working honest people is a tragedy. Read morePublished 4 months ago by S. L. Pieper
This book was a big help to me when trying to cope with mean girls when I was on a temporary assignment in another department. I liked the different scenarios and solutions. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nancy Levine "Nancy"
This book is so helpful to those of us who just want to do the work and get along. I like that it's both a text as well as a reference guide to specific situations. Easy to use. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Nancy
Good insight. Mean Girls will help me in my work place as needed. There are other materials that I read inconjunction with this book that put everything into perspective and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Denise Kearl
This book is terrible. It is a string of PowerPoint bullit points disguised as a book. Presumably to make the content long enough to be considered a book, the authors label just... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Love to Read
I've made it part way through this book and recommended it to 2 other women. Instead of a counselor listening to u gripe about evil women at work it actually tells you how to deal... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kindle Customer