One of my fondest memories from my college days is getting grouped with five guys for an entrepreneurship course. How that happened? Well, our alphabeticized class-list did all the work. We came up with a great idea of paying for bus-fare via M-Pesa and really put in a lot of blood, toil, sweat and tears. We were so serious with the idea that we had considered registering it as a patent and selling it to Safaricom…
We did not see the idea to fruition (but we got really good grades!). That experience taught me a lot about the different dynamics involved in working with women and men. Apart from speaking up more. I had to learn the difference between a treble in music and European soccer. Reading Anna’s book The Professional Woman’s Guide to Managing Men reminded me of the brainstorming sessions in the college cafeteria and provided me with great advice on navigation the politics of gender in the office
Since getting her own career unstuck, Anna has made it her life mission to help professional women become happier, calmer and more successful leaders who love their careers (For more details, see here). I have been devouring her blog, Classy Career Girl and found practical advice that I apply to my career. I am glad that my digital mentor has finally taken some of her own advice and is tooting her horn. In this book, Ms. Runyan shares more lessons garnered from working for seven years in a male-dominated field as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamiliton
One of my favourite quotes in the book is:
Assertiveness is an easy way to quickly gain respect from the men on your team and it can help men become more confident in you. Men respect a woman who speaks her mind and challenges others. Men want to hear your voice because you have different strengths than them and you bring a different viewpoint to the team. Men also expect interruptions because that is what they are used to when they are around other men. Therefore, your assertiveness won’t be seen as overbearing (or bitchy!).
I know that as women, we fear speaking up and think that as long as we work hard, others will notice our hard work and promote us. For a long time, I believed that too. it came to my attention, that my peers (especially male) seemed to be getting more wiggle room (e.g. taking extra leave days after holidays) or take up interesting and career-building tasks. In 2014, women have to speak up and to be grabby (within reason) if we want to achieve our dreams. Let me allow Anna to explain this further:
Managing Men is a quick and easy read with plenty of exercises for reflection. Your pencil will come in really handy if you like paperback. This is a manual that will be useful for women at all levels in an organisation and would like to know how to use their femininity to their advantage.
For more information on how to purchase the book, here and check here for more goodies!
Blogger’s note: I have included links to Amazon since I believe in this book’s message and I will not receive any monetary benefits from the sales