Friday, November 9, 2007

The Workplace: What Men Don't Tell Women


These are just a few of the names Christopher Flett says that some men call women in the workplace. Not to their faces, he says, but behind their backs.


Those names make me uncomfortable, and angry. Plenty of other women will feel the same way, and I think we could have some pretty heated discussions among the sexes in the days to come. But Flett, who has been called the “shock jock of management,” says that it’s time someone exposed the “alpha male” business strategies towards women, and he’s just the one to do it.

A self-proclaimed “reformed alpha male,” Flett says in his new book, “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook,” that while men may have put the glass ceiling in place, it’s the women who keep it there with their behaviors that have some men calling them ball busters, whores, geishas, and other less-that-complimentary names like “man” and “mother.” (Trust me, these are names that put women down.)

Flett told me that he used to be such an obnoxious alpha male that would try and hire staff away from other companies just to hurt those businesses. But when his dad got cancer and told Flett “that he was embarrassed by the way I was acting, I had a reset switch.”

Now Flett says he’s out to expose ugly alpha male strategies to the females of the workplace who are often hurt the most by them. And that includes revealing some uncomfortable truths, such as the name-calling.

“Fifty percent of the women who hear my message love it, and the other 50 percent hate my guts,” he says. “But I don’t mince words. People are so busy trying to be politically correct, the message just gets muddied.”

Many women have joined the discussion about Flett’s book online, and say they have benefited from having alpha male strategies revealed. Some men say they abhor such business strategies as well, and they have no place in the workplace today. Flett says that it’s time women realized that they have the power they need and they don’t need to fight for it – they just need to take it.

He provides this final example: “I’m Canadian, so I speak a little French. When I take American clients to France, I get a better room, food and other upgrades because I can speak a little French. What I’m saying is that if women can learn to speak alpha male, and understand that this information is power, then they’re going to benefit from it.”

C’et la vie! , indeed.


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