Helpful information and advice from
America's favorite workplace columnist
Friday, April 20, 2012
How Men Sabotage Their Careers
Are you one of those men who favors the use of sports analogies to explain everything from giving birth to taking over a third world country? Do you find nothing wrong with the fact that you chew your nails, tell dirty jokes and leave the toilet seat up?
If so, you may fit right in with the 12-year-olds at soccer camp, but in the world of work,you stick out like a foul-mouthed, ragged-nail, thoughtless slob who should never be put in charge of anything and certainly never worked with closely if it can be helped.
It’s something men don’t often realize: Their personal habits are often just offensive enough that women will avoid working with them. That means any great project spearheaded by a woman may omit such a man. Any female boss is likely to think twice about sending a man wearing a tie from 1985 and too much Aramis to meet with an important client.
While the majority of leaders (64%) are still men, a recent Zenger/Folkman survey found that women are ranked higher when it comes to what are seen as the competencies of top leaders: inspiring and motivating behavior; a talent for building relationships; and an ability to collaborate.
Many of those top competencies are because women often are more aware of how their personal behavior – from body language to grooming habits – affect those around them. While they are sometimes too attuned to others and squash some of their own assertiveness, their ability to put others at ease and encourage conversation are qualities more men should try to emulate.
For example, men may believe they’re doing nothing wrong when they crack their knuckles – or some other body part – in a meeting and don’t see why clipping their nails at their desk is such a big deal.
But every crack…crack….snip! is recorded by a woman. She notices smells – whether it’s your onion breath or the backpack that smells like the bottom of a gym locker – and that doesn’t encourage her to stop and chat with you about a big new project. She thinks that leaving the toilet seat up in a unisex bathroom signals disregard for others, so does she want you... (read more here.)