Many smart and successful girls are convinced that working with women is much more difficult than working with men. Why? It turns out that our natural virtues - emotionality, observation, empathy, the ability to listen, notice everything, remember, give advice - can be annoying at work, and not only the boss, but also colleagues. “Girls behave unpredictably,” complains my friend Lena, head of a department at a large investment company. - They take offense, cry, ask too many questions, chat, gossip, intrigue, lie … And this is a terrible rivalry! With men it happens quite differently, somehow more honest. Men at work don't play games with you. With them, I can be both a boss and a woman at the same time - and flirt and command. And with women, for everything to work out well, I have to be only the boss."
To be honest, I wouldn't really want to work for a boss like my beloved Lena. Authoritarian, uncompromising, manic in control of everything around.
Lena, for example, can call her subordinates closer to midnight on Friday and demand that they, at least burst, prepare a multi-page document by seven in the morning on Saturday. However, I understand that in real life there are more bosses like her than many would like - which means, in any case, we will have to build competent relationships with them.
My boss's color
In her book Beat Like a Woman, New York businesswoman and writer Ronna Lichtenberg takes a very original look at the theory of female and male leadership. No, she, of course, does not call on anyone to beat - on the contrary, she offers to take a closer look at the psychological type of her boss and, depending on this, build the correct tactics of behavior.
What are these psychotypes? Rosa claims that according to the style of their self-realization at work (and in general in life), all people are divided into the so-called pink ("pink"), blue ("blue") and striped ("striped"). This has nothing to do with sexual orientation - as, indeed, with gender. It is important for pink people (and these are the majority among women) to be friends at work. For them, relationships are an integral part of the work process, they think in images, remember offenses for a long time, always notice what you are wearing today and what mood you are in, they like to talk on abstract topics, they make decisions based on feelings and intuition, and they prefer business matters decide over a plate of delicious pasta in a restaurant.
Typical of the pink breed is Reese Witherspoon's character in Legally Blonde: she even wore pink.
For blue people, it is not the process that is important, but the result, even if at a high cost (in particular, at the cost of damaged relationships with colleagues). They are accustomed to thinking systematically and use logic and numbers to make decisions. There are more of them among men. Finally, there are striped people - those who combine the traits of pink and blue and "include" one or the other qualities, depending on the situation and the disposition of the people with whom they have to work.
It is curious that most of the conflicts between women at work, according to the author of this theory, occur precisely between the representatives of pink and blue. “The pink woman sees the blue woman and, of course, first of all wants to make friends with her. Just like that, "to the heap" - writes Ronna Lichtenberg. - And being friends at work is not in the nature of a blue woman. Pink gets offended and blue doesn't understand what's going on."
Best of all, however, in the office environment, it is precisely “striped” workers who combine “female” and “male” traits that feel. Because they know how to react quickly to a communicative situation. They are the ones who manage to maintain an even and productive relationship with both colleagues and bosses - even with a woman boss.
The whole problem with pink and blue is that both of these types are the same selfish, and dominant. They persistently try to get the team to behave in a way that suits them. Nobody will like this, especially women who are hotter than men.
And we must also take into account that a woman boss, especially in Russia, where feminism is not in vogue, outside the office very often tries to behave with men according to the traditional scheme: “Yes, dear. As you say, dear,”- even if she earns four times more than her dear one, and is used to commanding. For men, she is ready to make an exception, but not for a female subordinate - she will have to suffer for herself and for that guy.
Better to be "striped" - they are smarter and in general somehow more human.
And yet, for God's sake, do not try to enter into healthy competition with the boss - this is a dead act, because women are very sensitive to the ripening intrigue. Make friends with her without familiarity, help - like, having come to visit your parents, you would help your mother or grandmother bake a pie in the kitchen. And if you want career growth, then don't worry - whoever needs to notice that you are not only capable, but also know how to be loyal. And the one who needs to raise you. And the less you hint to him that he should do it, the sooner it will happen.
Queen of bumblebees and bees
Meanwhile, the more success we, women, achieve in the professional field, the more relevant the topic of chronic problems in women's (and not only!) Collectives becomes. This topic is especially actively discussed in America - in particular, because there, due to the high life expectancy in one office today, representatives of at least three generations can easily sit at once - baby boomers (those who were born in the 1950s), Generation X (those in their late thirties) and very young, fresh from college - we used to call them millennials.
However, this is not only a generational conflict. You don't have to have thirty years of age difference to wage an open or covert war. It turned out that it was enough just to be a woman.
Psychologists have recently come up with the concept of Queen Bee Syndrome (queen bee syndrome). The queen bee does whatever she wants with her subordinate worker bees - for example, she invades "personal space": asks for a tampon or asks when you will finally get married. With us, Russians, the scope of personal space, fortunately, is much more blurred - it is not a pity to share a tampon with anyone - but the fact remains: with men, one way or another, it is trite easier.
When Your Boss Is Your New Mom
Does a tornado spin in your stomach at the sight of your boss? This is also not uncommon, and psychologists look for the reasons for such phenomena (like everything else, however) in childhood. We subconsciously perceive the boss as a dad, and the boss as a mother. Girls' relationships with dads are usually more distant and non-competitive - we just want them to like us. But mom is a generous field for a psychoanalyst!
We subconsciously expect our boss to react familiar from childhood.
For example, if my mother was strict, scolded for every mistake, we will become afraid of dismissal and wait for a call to the carpet with or without reason. If my mother was a caring and receiving person, we will be perplexed why we are not praised five days a week. Well, in the event that in childhood we did not have enough attention from our parents, we will seek it from the boss. Be that as it may, it will be difficult to call our behavior adequate, because the boss is not our relative and our relationship is completely different. To avoid inappropriate infantilism, you urgently need to understand several important things and, if necessary, change the behavior model.
To begin with, remember what situations in your relationship with your mother are painted in the brightest colors for you. Why did she scold you, praise you, under what circumstances did she laugh at you? How did you feel during these moments? And then draw a parallel - does the same feeling arise at work? Under what circumstances? In every possible way, avoid being in them in the future, well, if it is not possible to avoid, try to return to that childish situation, feel like a little girl, and then look at everything from the outside.
Tell that mother who lives in your memory: "Mom, I have already grown up!" Repeat this mantra before entering the boss's office. Only to themselves - employees talking to themselves frighten colleagues.
Who is your boss?
Five types of female leadership in the office and the same number of strategies for interacting with their representatives, or why you will have to completely turn off emotions with one boss, and on the other - master the technique of endless chatter about nothing.
Type one: general in a skirt
What does it look like? Like a man who decided to undergo gender reassignment surgery. She has female sexual characteristics, but the brutality is such that no hormonal therapy can be eradicated. In general, a determined, career-oriented androgyne.
Does she bite? She does not like either men or women, since she does not know how to behave with both. However, she respects the manifestation of masculine qualities more. Therefore, it is better for talkative sensitive young ladies to stay away from her. Or learn to be more restrained and rational.
What to do? In the unconscious of each of us there is a male part, which Jung called the "animus." So, in order to negotiate with such a boss, you first need to establish contact with your own animus. If you were a man, what would you look like? Approximately in this way one should appear before such a boss. You don't need to wear a tie, but you will have to leave the coquetry at home.
Type two: American dream
What does it look like? Quite good. A bit boring, but it's not her fault - the dress code doesn't rhyme with the word "creative". She is young, and even if not very young, she is young, smart and purposeful. This female boss can be American, English, or overseas-educated Russian. In general, she is a person with a Western type of thinking and in every possible way cultivates this in herself.
Does she bite? If you've worked for a Russian company all your life, you might be shocked when faced with this type of boss. You will try to challenge her to a frank conversation, talk about your daughter or son, show off your manicure, and she will remain polite and detached.
What to do? Respecting boundaries is fundamentally important for her. She was taught that respect for boundaries - ours and others - distinguishes an adult from an infantile. It is boring only at first glance, because any children's game also has rules, which makes the game no less exciting.
Type three: kind mommy
What does it look like? Caring, caring, interested in the details of the personal life of her subordinates, this boss can look anything. A plump middle-aged woman or a young, fit, active girl about thirty - the main thing in a mother is not external, but internal.
Does she bite? What could be terrible about this nice person? It's okay if the relationship with your real mother was smooth. Psychologists call this "transference," meaning that you transfer your feelings and expectations from your mom to your boss.
What to do? Play Find 10 Differences Between Boss and Mom. When communicating, focus on the differences. And make sure that your voice is slightly lower, speech is slower than usual. Lower your shoulders down, let gestures and facial expressions be a little more stingy than in a conversation with a friend. This way you won't be like a child reporting to your mom about your school progress.
Type four: stepmother
What does it look like? She would very much like everyone around to walk in rags, and she alone would be the queen. With the dream of rags, she, of course, is unlikely to succeed, but in principle, she can make her subordinates go with bags under their eyes.
Does she bite? If your mom was strict and controlling, be careful - there is also a risk of transfer. Although your consciousness tells you that mom and boss are different people, you can hardly cope with feelings of anxiety.
What to do? Think about what kind of boss she was as a child, was there someone who was friends with her that she could play? If you met her in the schoolyard or at the dacha, could you make friends? What would bring you together - love for dogs, Pokemon stickers? As you enter the office, imagine this girl with pigtails and speak to her, not to an adult woman in a large leather chair.
Type five: daddy's daughter
What does it look like? Like the girls in the gossip photos. Expensive.
Does she bite? For those who dream of joining the ranks of secular beauties, such a boss is either a stone around the neck, or a high-speed elevator to a sweet life. The main danger is that you can become jealous and try to compete with her.
What to do? Alternate between the roles of a caring elder and an incomprehensible younger sister. Well, if social life seems to you the backdrop of a bad performance, you can take on the role of a girl from another party - the boss will not be offended and even interested. Or pretend to be a young mom, start patronizing her, and listen sympathetically to stories of her night out at Soho or Roof of the World.
Photo: Getty Images, press archives
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