This theme has started cropping up when I speak to women’s groups and in conversations generally with people in transitions. Having “leaned in” and forged ahead in one’s career, women in particular are asking “Now what? What do I want…
I am often approached to coach senior female executives. They are universally successful and high performers, but there’s some aspect of their behavior with which some of their colleagues have a problem. It’s generally one of two things. They are either considered too hard-charging and abrasive by some colleagues. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, they are told they are not assertive enough and can’t command the room. I have yet to be approached to help a man modify his behavior on these parameters.
So who’s got the problem here? You could argue that the parameters for female behavior in the workplace are simply narrower than for men and should be changed. You’d be correct. But how does that help? I think there’s a fine balance between pushing to change the culture and saving yourself some grief by modulating your behavior to make it more palatable for your audience. My advice is that you’re playing a long game here. Alternate modulating and pushing. Pick your battles. Support other women. And for goodness sake, go for that promotion so you will have more standing and influence in changing the culture and making it more their problem than yours.
This came from my monthly newsletter, avidly read by over 2,000 executives every month. Sign up here corrieshanahan.com
Don’t forget to check out my new book DO IT MEAN IT BE IT, The Keys to Achieve Success, Happiness, and Everything You Deserve at Work and in Life available now on Amazon