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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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Way too repetitive. Some bad advice -- and they never cover how to handle the situation of more than one mean girl at work (the title says GIRLS). Read morePublished 8 days ago by Carol Weaver-Madsen
The book is great. I ordered this MP3 /CD thinking I could pop it into my car CD player: it didn't work this way so I bought the book. .Published 2 months ago by DianaDocument
I loved that this was laid out in a problem, action (or what action not to take) and looking towards a solution. Thank you!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Helpful format. I found it easy to use as a reference.Published 4 months ago by Cindy Skelton-Becker
Great advice. Not sure if any of it was ground breaking but it did help me!Published 5 months 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 10 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 10 months ago by Nancy Levine "Nancy"