According to a recent article by ABC News, it was reported that, “12 percent of the executive offices of America” are occupied by women. They went on to say that “most of them got there by being tough, forceful and direct.”
However, Elle Magazine recently capitalized on this interesting tidbit of information by highlighting an unusual, yet equally effective anti-assertiveness training program called “Bully Broads”, whose goal is to help highly qualified women get to the top rung by being kind instead of bristly.
Have you hit a plateau in your career? For some of us being the tough girl has worked out thus far, however when it comes to managing a core group of employees or gaining that corner office, we’re hitting a wall. It could be because we need a lesson in anti-assertiveness. However, you may be thinking that seems counter-intuitive, especially when you’ve gotten so far being the feared female in the room.
The truth is that when it comes to getting that coveted executive position, playing hard ball may cause the higher-ups, as well as associates, to fear you instead of revere you.This can get in the way of any further promotion. So how do prove that you can handle more work with grace as well as gall? To boost productivity it has been shown that encouraging one to do better work instead of demeaning co-workers for lackluster performance is the most effective way to increase revenue and in-office camaraderie.
What is known as The Hawthorne Effect, simply states that “productivity gain occurred because the workers were impacted by the motivational effect of the interest being shown in them.”
Human nature remains the same, showing interest in someone motivates them. Negative interest doesn’t count. Bully Broads founder, Jean Hollands has many excellent tips on how to reposition your strong personality to accommodate for all types of employees putting you right where you want to be: in the CEO’s highest graces.
She suggests many steps in the work place, but a few that seem to be the easiest to apply?
1. Talking slowly so other people can listen and respond.
2. Give feedback to others in a constructive way.
3. Walking slowly so people don’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated.
4. Cry at work. (She claims it shows humanity as well as passion)
5. Smile often.
6. Talk softer when reprimanding.
7. Use self-deprecation to appear relate-able.
Whether you feel like you are ready to go to the next level but are being held back by your inability to play nice with others or are simply wanting to be more kind to people to rack up Karma points, Hollands anti-assertiveness advice is practical, useful knowledge that all women should take into consideration.
Besides, how does that saying go? Sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are the same? Looks like being nice may pay big dividends after all.