The Mentorist


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It’s Not What You Say, It’s the Way You Say It: Women at Work

I’ve just finished reading Lean In and am convinced Sheryl Sandberg has been spying on me from birth.

Most women who read the book will likely feel the same.  Lean In captures the ways women sabotage themselves in the workplace — and does a good job of explaining the sociological reasons why.

In my experience, conversational style — that is, how we say something — is at the root of most problems women have in getting promoted to top positions.

Let’s face it:  The corporate world is, in large part, still ruled by men.  That means most interactions that determine whether a woman will reach ‘the top’ are going to be with men.

And — plain and simple — they don’t talk like us. Continue reading


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Read the Smoke Signals: Understanding Your Company’s Culture

Companies are tribes. Firms are too.

Yet, many of us walk into work each day oblivious to the subtle tribal customs and communications going on around us. We assume we know who’s in power, who’s in favor and what it takes to reach either status.

Of course, every group – including your current workplace — has some basic similarities to other groups. But every group also has nuances specific to it alone.

The people who pick up on those workplace nuances are the ones who get included in the “lively banter” before meetings, get adopted as protégés and get more kudos than their actual work might merit.

So, what if that last sentence doesn’t describe you? You can change that – but, first, you need to do some field research.

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One More for the Marissa Pig Pile

From the uproar, you’d think Marissa Mayer had mandated incest among all Yahoo! employees. In many people’s eyes, her edict that employees show up at the office was nearly as bad.

I’m aware of all the arguments for why the Yahoo! CEO’s demand is a terrible idea – and for why it’s a terrific one. By now, more than enough print and screen space has been used for beating this horse.

But, before we give it a decent burial, let me share some thoughts based on my career at a company where “showing up” was optional.

[People who worked at this company were in charge of their own “when, where and why”:  At any job level (including secretarial) they could work from any location (never mind that the company’s nearest office was thousands of miles away) for any reason (like skiing? – well then, move to Alta and work from your dining table).]

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