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Breaking the Unwritten Codes that Sabotage Personal and Professional Lives

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Breaking the Unwritten Codes that Sabotage Personal and Professional Lives
Marilou Ryder, Ed.D. and Judith Briles, Ph.D.
New Horizen Press, 2003

Not only do men and women communicate differently, but from handling children's soccer games to boardroom meetings, they have their own set of unwritten rules that affect their ability to confront issues and avoid roadblocks at home and at work. The authors identify the gender-based codes men and women misuse in dealing with each other, reveal the communication styles that set up women for failure when interacting with men, and list the ten ways that women sabotage themselves (and men don't).

This indispensable guide contains insightful quizzes, tips, personal anecdotes and practical solutions to everyday, gender-influenced dilemmas.Based on interviews with thousands of men and women, this book explores attitudes and behaviors of women that cause men to get resentful or angry. Women therefore find themselves needlessly impeded in their daily lives.

If women want to be taken seriously at work, then how is the wearing of sexy and revealing clothing to work going to help? Most men are scared of a sexual harassment lawsuit, so women need to find a way to tell male co-workers that they will not be offended by compliments on a new suit or hairstyle. Talking too much can be deadly to one's chances for promotion. Before making an oral presentation in front of others, have a critical friend spot-check you. Be organized, don't waste time and stick to the point. Be more goal-oriented in the language that you use.

When dealing with office politics, create and maintain allies, and remember that friendship and friendliness are two very different things. If you are the victim of office sabotage, the most important thing to do is confront the saboteur. Otherwise, you are giving them a green light to continue. Do not confuse confidence with inflexibility or stubbornness; you do not have to win every time. Resist the temptation to cover your office wall with college diplomas, plaques and certificates. Have a male friend grade your handshake from "too limp" to "bonecrusher."

This book doesn't ask to women to change who they are, but to realize that there are things women do every day that drive men nuts (not in a good way). Changing those behaviors will help women to prosper in their personal and professional lives. 

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