Finally! Help for Working With Bitches

Love this new book, Working With Bitches by Meredith Fuller. Real good advice on working with very difficult people. She separates these “bitches” into eight categories. I did a quick summary of Ms. Fuller’s categories here:

Excluder … she ignores you, blocks you at important meetings, etc.

Insecure  she’s anxious and “micromanages” you to death.

Toxic … she comes off as as nice as can be but is backstabbing you the whole time.

Man, did I get taken in by one of these…  I had no idea she was stabbing me to everyone and anyone.

Narcissist… she wants to be the center of the world, you don’t exist unless you are meeting her needs.

Screamer… she gets very angry and short with people.

Liar… she’s gamey and lies comfortably.

Incompetent…  she doesn’t know how to do her job and gets everyone else to do it

GAG Girls fall for this one a lot.  It is probably because of their tendency to overfunction, trust others’ good intentions, and not take good care of themselves.

Not-A-Bitch… she’s a competent, good manager who’s onto the bitches.

Check out the interview…

Working With Bitches book

GAG girl takeaway:  GAG girls do tend to doubt themselves before they appropriately identify the problems and toxicity in others. Don’t do that. Educate yourself, detach and don’t confront in a way that is detrimental to you. Be smart about it girl!

What’s Your Body Language Saying?

I don’t know about you but I was taught to use good manners and polite body language and I am glad.  You won’t see me sitting hunched over with my legs spread apart and elbows on my knees during a conversation with dinner guests. For a man, that displays interest and is totally acceptable. The point here is: What messages do we women convey with our politeness?

The Azalea Trail Maid: Pretty and Poised
Growing up in the South, one of the most honored and revered positions as a high school teen was to be an Azalea Trail Maid If obtained, this got you the opportunity to dress in pastel hoop skirts at major events, hold a parasol and bonnet.

As an Azalea Trail Maid, you get to stand there prettily, wave with your wrist only and smile. At the tryouts, you were asked questions about body language and polite behavior. My friend Tanya said one of the trick questions, was “how do you sit on a corner stool?” The correct answer: You sit with legs close together, knee to knee, pressing tightly. Everyone who thought it was an ankle cross, got it wrong.

In other words …
Women are socialized to politely take up less room and be more passive with our body language, even our voice.  We are socialized to convey weakness, passivity, and, according to experts, this conveys less competence. Question is: Does all of this get us less respect? What’s a girl to do?

Feel more powerful: Watch Amy Cuddy’s video.

3 steps to up your presence
1) Practice more assertive body language: shoulders back, uncrossing arms, walking more assertively. Take up a bit more space when sitting.

2) Use a stronger voice when making requests.

3) Simulate the body language of someone you admire. When needing a boost of confidence, practice that body language. (I once had a client that would practice her Wonder Woman arm cross in the bathroom before she stood up to her boss — it really worked!)

No drastic changes necessary. Good self-care could include just being more conscious of the message you send to others and yourself.

Omarosa and Celebrity Apprentice

Why do people like Omarosa find success?6
Why is it that people who act confident seem to get the benefit of the doubt? You know what I mean … situations at work, at school, in social activities where the one who acts the most confident gets the credibility, even if they really don’t know what they are talking about. Hate it but it happens.

Omarosa is on Celebrity Apprentice again. She plays the reality television villain. As a contestant, she is supposed to lead or help the team coordinate successful projects. In many ways, the team challenges are not unlike a work project with a deadline. Unfortunately, Omarosa doesn’t do much. She smartly gets the most creative person to give the good ideas, aligns with them, rides the wave and acts most bright and helpful. In the board room, she targets the most vulnerable person (somebody really hard-working and nice) and tears them apart.

Give Away Girls are distinctly different from Omarosa. They work hard, contribute greatly and defer accomplishments to their team, but they’re perceived as less competent. Unfortunately, this plays out a million times a day.

Let’s look at people’s perceptions and what gets conveyed in a work/task situation or even a situation where one is attempting to communicate socially.

Competence+Lack of Confidence = PERCEIVED as Less Successful, Less Smart, Less Competent 

(These people are usually the ones doing all the work BEHIND the scenes.)

Confidence+Incompetence = PERCEIVED as More Successful, Bright, More Competent

(Ever met someone and after you worked with them awhile; you realize that they don’t know their job well, but they know how to hook up with people that do?)

Not fair. I know. A dear client of mine told me this once: Everyone is playing the game. If you aren’t playing it, you still are, you just are doing it poorly.

No need to be backstabbing, Omarosa. True confidence isn’t the peacock, villain kind. Ladies, remember: For better or worse, how you are perceived can have a big impact on your future. Practice self-confidence.

1) maintain eye contact
2) own your accomplishments, never downplay
3) hold great posture
4) break away from the status quo

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg

There was an article on the front page of USA Today about Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. She is reputed to be one of the most powerful women in business and a lead executive at Facebook.

The book review by Julia M. Klein states that Ms. Sandberg’s book talked about what I have been saying for years: that women actively hold themselves back. They listen to negative internal messages, don’t advocate for themselves strongly in pay … they lack confidence … they inadvertently lower their career expectations. She even talks about how women do themselves in by doing more than their share of housework and childcare.

What to do? Stop giving it away.

Women and Self-Deprecation

We live in a culture that expects women to put themselves down a lot. In fact, a big part of my book and this blog is about women who constantly and inadvertently engage in this unhealthy, detrimental caretaking dance.

What is detrimental caretaking (DC)?
DC is when people  cause injury to themselves by making decisions in favor of others, to their own detriment.  Usually, they aren’t aware that they are causing harm to themselves, they are just trying to be nice or “caretake.”

For example, when someone compliments your new boots, do you comfortably acknowledge the compliment? Do you downplay the compliment, laughing about the great deal you got on them. Do you quickly change the subject?  If so, you might live in the world of the DC.

When done in the workplace, DC affects your colleagues’ perceptions of your competence. Here’s a great article about self-deprecation and how it can have a negative impact on you.

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