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Friday, November 16, 2012
How To Handle the Mean Girls at Work
Many women would like to believe that the ugly behavior they may have experienced at the hands of other girls in junior high – or perhaps even exhibited themselves – is just an unhappy memory by the time they join the working ranks.
But the truth is: The mean girls are alive and well in the workplace today.
In a new book, “Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional when Things Get Personal,” authors Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster say they were at first reluctant to tackle such a subject for fear of contributing to bias against women or portraying women in such an unflattering light. But when they got a rousing response to the subject of “women haters” at a training session, they say they knew they had struck a nerve.
“Women have been pushing uphill for so long and trying to get ahead, that no one really wanted to look at what wasn’t working. It is something that women are reluctant to talk about and acknowledge,” Elster says. “It’s sort of the dark side.”
Crowley and Elster says that most women will recognize the “mean girl” at work. “The key indicator is that you have a feeling that she doesn’t like you and is in competition with you,” Crowley says. Elster describes it as a “sinking feeling in your stomach” when you’re around the woman.
There are various levels of professional-woman meanness, such as the “meanest of the mean” the “passively mean” and the “doesn’t mean to be mean,” they explain. The woman may exclude her target from emails, gossip about her, use body language that conveys (read the rest here)