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For more than two decades, Frankel has been advising women to recognize and then stop making various "unconscious mistakes" which have sabotaged their careers and (probably) many of their personal relationships as well. However, the fact remains that countless men as well as women have made the same mistakes and suffered from the same consequences. True, even throughout U.S. history, society has assigned quite different stereotypical roles to men and women. Perhaps not until World War II, for example, were most women allowed to combine full-time employment with marriage and/or parenthood. Even then, many of the women relinquished their jobs to men after the war ended. They, their daughters, and their granddaughters were again strongly encouraged to accept the role of a subordinate, deferential, compliant, cooperative, "Stepford-ish" role in the home, in the community, and even in the workplace.
"Attempts to act counter to this socialized role are met with ridicule, disapproval and scorn." Frankel goes on to observe, "Whether it was Mom's message -- 'Boys don't like girls who are too loud.' -- or, in response to any angry outburst, a spouse's messages -- 'What's the matter? Is it that time of month?' -- women are continually bombarded. with negative reinforcement for acting in any manner contrary to what they were taught in girlhood. As a result, they learn that acting like a 'good girl' is less painful than than assuming more appropriate behavior for adult women (and totally acceptable for boys and adult men.)" Two reactions to that brief excerpt: First, my own experience suggests that Frankel's observations were more true 10-15 years ago than they are today. Also, finally (!), we are beginning to appreciate the full value and substantial benefits of what Daniel Goleman calls "emotional intelligence" in the workplace: nurturing associates, building consensus, empathy, expressing feelings as well as ideas, etc. Traditionally, these values have been more associated with women than with men. With the decline of the "command and control" management style, in combination with Free Agency (which was in great part a response to that style), males as well as females are expected to develop emotional intelligence.
There are two other societal phenomena worthy of note: The increasing number of two-income households and the increasing number of single-parent families. The former requires a different division of labor, of tasks once viewed as gender-specific; the latter requires one adult to be both mother and father. These two phenomena have done much to invalidate the "role" which Frankel's describes in the brief excerpt. I also want to suggest again, that Eleanor Roosevelt's statement which Frankel quotes ("No one can make you feel inferior without your consent") is as relevant to males as it is to females. As the enormous sales of books written by the Twin Doctors (McCraw and Schlesinger) and others have clearly demonstrated, males as well as females are eager -- many even desperate -- for guidance on how to find greater meaning and fulfillment, great joy and satisfaction in their personal as well as professional lives. Self really does matter.
Frankel's sensible advice on how to avoid or correct various "unconscious mistakes" does NOT preclude being a lady or a gentleman. On the contrary, as presumably she would agree, the most highly respected and admired executives are -- by nature or of necessity -- polite, thoughtful, sensitive, and considerate persons. Why? Organizations today heavily depend upon effective human as well as electronic networks. Those human networks are based on trust and comprised of women as well as men, led by those who possess qualities of character and temperament once associated almost entirely with women.
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on February 24, 2004
I loved "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office!" I've been in the workplace for over 30 years, struggling with making myself be heard and taken seriously, especially by men. Dr. Frankel hits the nail on the head with so many of her suggestions! As a woman raised during the 50's, many of the messages I received about how to act in order to succeed, especially in corporations, need to be altered. I particularly related to the following points: "Worry Less About Being Liked", "Never Ask Permission" and "Apologize Sparingly". These speak directly to personal issues for me and by having Dr. Frankel's book on my desk to remind me, its helping me to change some of these very
deeply rooted behaviors. A Must Read for women, especially those who've been around for a few years!
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on March 14, 2004
Thank you Ms. Frankel! One more important point to add: In the climb to the corner office, keep in mind that you never, ever get a second chance to make a first impression. Women show far too much humility about their talents, skills and accomplishments. If we want people to value us, we must first show that we value ourselves - by making sure our accomplishments are visible to targeted audiences. If we want people to hire us, promote us, buy from us, and invest in our companies, they have to know who we are, what we have accomplished and why they should have us on their teams! Self-promotion is a valuable business tool that careerwomen must add to their strategies for success. (Review by: Marion E. Gold, award-winning author of "Personal Publicity Planner: A Guide to Marketing YOU."
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on July 19, 2004
Frankel had many good points. I found myself behaving like some, and wasn't aware it was a female behaviour, until now.
For the most part it was an eye opening book. However, I did find a few of her points subject to her opinion, ie: Albrights brooch vs. Frankels own approved brooch...please. Otherwise, this book was very interesting, eye opening, and sad that women still need to adapt their personalities to accomodate men, to play the game. Also suggested by Frankel, were many other good books to read.
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on February 24, 2004
I found this book immensely helpful and readable, and a great addition to the field. Dr. Frankel's style is clear and concise and she obviously speaks from a wealth of knowledge and experience. Though the book has just recently been published, I have already found myself recommending it to female clients in my psychotherapy practice who are stalled in their careers. If you're looking for some direct advice and helpful hints about how to get ahead in the corporate world, this is the book for you.
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on February 24, 2004
AN AWESOME READ! By reading "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office," I feel like I can make the changes needed to further my career and soon be in the corner office myself. I have bought copies for my sister, mother and close female friends and they have all enjoyed it immensely. I also found Dr. Frankel's other book, "Overcoming Your Strengths," helpful to my career. The tips in her books are insightful and make a definite difference.
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on December 4, 2011
This book is amazing. It is a quick reader. The chapters are short and sweet, you can read a few at a time on your way to book, during a bus ride, during your break, when you have 15 minutes to relax. The author names the most common mistakes women make and gives great tips on how to work on those mistakes. She suggests books, web-sites or personal recommandations. The tips are great for most, if not, all careers. Again, this book is a must!
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on February 24, 2004
All the unconscious, everyday bringdowns women to do to themselves, to stay off the fast track. Laid out forthrightly and without sentimentality, author Lois Frankel makes you understand that women have to break out of learned growing-up behaviors and inhibitions to make it in the corporate world. Look in the mirror, ladies -- it's you, not them!
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on February 6, 2004
Dr. Frankel was my coach for over a year. Many of the suggestions in the book I heard from her directly and I must say, they were all correct. When I did what she suggested I felt more empowered even if I wasn't always successful. I guess the bottom line is, you have to make a choice as to whether you want to be the statue or the bird.
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on February 15, 2016
Finally a book for professional women. As a female executive, its a challenge finding resources specifically relating the female experience in climbing the ladder. We naturally operate differently from our male counterparts. I enjoyed the read - my copy has lots of highlighting and notes. Recommend to all the career ladies out there.
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