You’ll be happy to know we saved the best for last: Be more like a man to get ahead. Have you ever been told that acting more like a man would advance your career?
Or maybe the advice was indirect. There are many cousins of “Act Like a Man”
Here are a few:
Be one of the boys
Don’t be so sensitive
Don’t be so easily offendedLearn to play golf
Learn to like craft beer
Wear blazers, not dresses (true story)
Learn to argue
We could go on, but who has the time?!
While “Act Like a Man” may be a great movie title and provide endless content for a RomCom script writer, is it ever helpful?
This advice is sometimes given to help women gain respect and greater standing. So, let’s unpack the potentially helpful messages buried in this clunker:
Do you tend to “dance around” the point you’re trying to make?
Women are taught to be sensitive to the feelings of others, which is a wonderful trait, but not necessarily the best approach when you want to disagree with your boss or get air time for your idea.
We recently spoke with a female M.D. who said that the bi-monthly meetings with all the doctors in her practice are dominated by male voices. She realized that the female docs take more time formulating a socially acceptable (and accurate) contribution, and by the time they have figured it out and are ready to share, the meeting chair has moved onto another agenda item, or the female speaker takes the circuitous route in an effort to be collegial and gets cut off.
Getting straight to the point with no qualifiers, mitigators, self-deprecation or hesitation is a worthy goal.
Are you an over-thinker?
It’s no secret that women have perfected the art of worrying. Research by Holly Hazlett-Stevens, PhD, author of Women Who Worry Too Much, found that women experience twice as much generalized anxiety as men. Imagine what we could do with all that space and time if we focused on things we can control?
Do you ask for what you want (and deserve)?
If you’ve taken any of our virtual offerings, you’ve seen our final slide that features this exact phrase – with the added tagline: “And be prepared to get it.” We are still fighting centuries-old gender roles, so the thought of making someone else uncomfortable, or to say something that might make them think less of us often results in hesitation.
What’s the answer? Practice your “ask” with a trusted friend – or friends. Once you feel prepared, the next step is to schedule the meeting before you talk yourself out of it.
Want more career coaching?
Mark your calendar to attend the first-ever SheSpeaks Conference on October 1st.
Details coming soon.