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Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal Hardcover – October 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071802045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071802048
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.Mean Girls at Work

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.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Years ago, it was called the Queen Bee Syndrome, denoting the propensity of female bosses to overdo their authority in the workplace. Now, psychotherapist-consultant team and multibook authors (including Working with You Is Killing Me, 2006) Crowley and Elster more precisely define the “mean bee,” segmenting bad female behaviors into seven categories: meanest of the mean, very mean, passively mean, doesn’t mean to be mean, doesn’t know she’s mean, brings out your mean, and group mean. Not enough differentiation among these personalities, you fear? Relax; perhaps the most critical part of the book is when the authors first describe the specific variations of meanness, then detail not only particular actions but also your feelings and what to do (as well as what not to do). One case among dozens is this: being excluded from a meeting. The rule is, don’t assume it’s purposeful. Simply say you believe it was an oversight and continue to repeat, “I’d like to be included in any future meetings of this kind.” That type of listing can get tedious; Crowley and Elster change it up by including real-life but disguised stories in the chapter “In Her Own Words” and general psychological reinforcements in “Coffee Breaks,” with topics ranging from taking it less personally to pausing to breathe. --Barbara Jacobs

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Customer Reviews

It is such an easy book to read and so informative.
liz
That way you can focus on the important stuff like having a life and moving ahead in your career.
Regina Barr (Inver Grove Heights, MN United States)
It would definitely be a helpful read for a young woman entering the professional work place.
Amy DeMoss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christine Zarett on December 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster, authors of Mean Girls At Work, address a very thorny topic about mean women in the workplace. Women work well together and must be aware of what the authors call the "dark side of woman-to-woman relationships" in order to take steps to handle other women's mean behavior and look at and correct their own mean behavior. Women have worked together for equal rights in the workplace and are positioned to benefit. This is an important next step and women must continue to support one another and work together, not undermine each other. The authors address real issues that are not discussed publicly. It is a timely and necessary discussion to have. This book offers guidelines and strategies for a range of situations. Crowley and Elster gracefully handle a sensitive and delicate topic. This is a wonderful book written by authors with experienced insight into workplace relationships and human psychology.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bridgette Raes on November 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I think this book is an important book for all women to read. While it may be an easy read in length, the content can definitely get a little "in your face" at times, but in a good way. In addition to learning how to deal with women in my life who I've had a hard time understanding, I also took take my own inventory on my behavior a few times. Kathi and Katherine's advice was very helpful, even if times I wanted to take the lower road after reading one of their many stories (which I heard are all accurate...unbelievable how some women behave!!!) of what some women have had to deal with at work. Even though I am self-employed and don't work in a traditional work environment, I still gleaned a tremendous information on how to deal with difficult women in one-to-one relationships!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nomdeplume on December 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
With its sharply observed analysis of female behavior, and its very specific suggestions on how to operate when dealing with difficult women, this book is essential for any woman in the workplace. What I particularly like about this book is its description of a range of behaviors from the meanest to the least offensive. It gives you detailed ways to shield yourself against a mean girl attack and to maintain an objective viewpoint. I wish I had this book several years ago when I was dealing with a very rude mean girl: I would have been less upset. Thank you Kathi and Katherine!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By About to Be on April 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have recently been working for a mean girl, and this book helps me everyday. I have read it over and over and I gain knowledge and insight every time. This book helps you to work with the women that are just "mean."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Bean on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Katherine and Kathi illuminate the complicated dynamics between women at work in their thought provoking new book Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal. I highly recommend this book for everyone (Women and men alike) who is interested in improving their working relationships.

Developing the skills and experience to do well in your career is one thing - being able to navigate the emotional minefields described in Kathi and Katherine's insightful scenarios, is quite another. Those of us with years in the workforce know the uncomfortable truth that tricky relationships at work can suck the joy out of showing up for work and at worst can derail a career.

The book guides the reader through these scenarios with insight and humor and offers strategic steps to calm and defuse the situation. Importantly, the "Coffee breaks" deconstruct the psychological dynamics. I found they helped me to recognize my own part in these relationships.

The book challenged me to rethink how to create necessary boundaries with intrusive co-workers and clients. Keeping your eye on the prize and not wasting crucial time and energy on unnecessary drama is often hard to accomplish. Katherine and Kathy give concrete advise to help develop clarity and perspective in highly emotional territory. Their guidance comes from a supportive, understanding and savvy place and reads as a powerful form of mentorship.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Mean Girls" is a book, for both men and women, who work with women who are what society might consider the "Office Bitch." They generally are snarky, gossipy, unfocused, blame-game type women who would rather stab you in the back versus working as a team to get ahead. While these offenses can range from mild to "How did you get this job?" this book will walk you through dealing and coping with these women in the workplace.
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.
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