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Are Women Worse kind of Bullies than Men?

June 6, 2017 in Careers

bully-women

Our workplaces are thriving grounds of bullying of the worst kind. Whether it’s physical bullying, catcalling, mistreating or badmouthing, workplace bullying continues to be a significant problem.

While men and women both are prone to bullying, woman-on-woman harassment is on the rise. According to a survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute, more men (62%) are bullies and women are the most frequent targets of bullies (58%). Women bullies more often target other women employees.

Understand their Motive

Many women believe they would never bully a co-worker or a close friend. However in male-dominated offices, women who have succeeded tend to take on stereotypically male behaviors. They learn to be more aggressive. Once you throw in their natural jealousy of each other, it’s a perfect mix for workplace turmoil. Recent research shows that women are more prone to bullying by another woman than by a man.

Bullies target people who pose a threat to them in the workplace. Often the bully target is smart, competent, well-liked and self-assured. Women who feel invisible choose to uplift themselves up by knocking others down to hide their insecurity.

“Women bullies will often befriend you and then air all your secrets later, in boardrooms or at office gatherings” says Dr. Namie. Power, aggression, insecurity, and jealously fuel the bullies desire to put down others.

Most adult bullies act the way they do to make up for some shortcoming of their own. Many times it’s because the bullies themselves feel inadequate in some way. This would include issues related to frustration, personality traits, perceptions of unfair treatment, and an assortment of stresses and strains associated with today’s leaner and ‘meaner’ work settings.

Understanding the social dynamics

While bullying by both sexes involves similar levels of aggression, the expression usually differs between the genders. Men use their physical power and may engage in fights, or use the threat of physical violence to torment their victims. Men engage in more observable form of verbal abuse.

Women are much more likely to engage in social bullying or relational bullying. The most common attacks include rumors, exclusion, teasing, and insults. Women make much nastier office bullies than men, says psychologist Dr. Gary Namie. Whether it stems from an innate desire to stay on the top of the corporate ladder, or as a cutthroat mechanism is highly debatable.

When it comes to the type and frequency of bullying, research shows that men are just as exposed to bullying as women, but are actually slightly more exposed to physical intimidation than women. While it is unusual for men to report instances of bullying by female bosses, the instances are on the rise.

As women get into the corporate world they are taught or are led to believe that they don’t get ahead because of men. But, they really don’t get ahead because of themselves. “Instead of building each other up and showcasing each other, we’re constantly tearing each other down,” says Dr. Namie.

The next time you feel victimized by a woman remember you have two options. You can decide to work with this woman and help her to become a better colleague, or take a stance and begin to address the situation through bullying and harassment policies at work.

Is Politics Really Dirty?

May 23, 2017 in Careers

Office Politics

The youth start their careers with an assumption that if they work hard, keep to themselves and contribute as a team player, their work will get the attention it deserves. However, the results are not always as desired. Many times, a perceived underperformer surpassed many hardworking professionals when it comes to promotion. Different people interpret such instances differently. Many believe that the underperformers get promotions or the credit of the work due to their connections with the bosses or management. While others, although small in numbers, proactively learn from them and make sure that they understand the nuances of people dynamics in the organizations in addition to the work they are responsible for.

No matter what line of work you’re in, and no matter how big or small your office is – politics will always be at play. Some argue that people who get promoted sought advancement via self-promotion, empire building, bandwagon jumping and good old-fashioned backstabbing. However, it is not entirely accurate. When there are a lot of talented people working together, human emotions, individual ambitions, behavioral differences and interpersonal dynamics bound to exist. Therefore, politics exist whenever a group of people works together, even though many consider it dirty and downright petty.

If we wish to foster good working relationships, get things done or get ahead, experts argue that we should actively and consciously engage in office politics.

Leadership can’t exist without Politics

Rauch, a scholar at the Brookings Institution observes that, “We live in a world of second and often third choices, and in order to govern one must make decisions and engage in practices that look bad up close and are hard to defend in public but which, nonetheless, seem to be the best alternative at the time.” This is why many times leaders make decisions which may look weird to others; however, it is the best decision in the organization’s interest. It also explains why, at times, the most successful leaders are accused of high-handedness or unfair expectations by the public of some of the employees. For leaders, politics is a bitter pill which is necessary to sustain the organization’s momentum despite all individual differences.

Set an Agenda

There is no shortcut to leadership – if you want to be a leader, you have to act like one. Constantly downplaying your contributions is not the best way to get ahead. Be tactful in promoting your achievements without it coming across as being boastful. It is best to realize that our workplaces are by nature political organizations and the only means to survive is to be a part of it. It doesn’t mean you have to go against your rules and play dirty. There are always two ways to get ahead – the good and the bad. Knowing what aligns with your values and makes you comfortable is the key to good politics.

Ethical politics starts with being diplomatic with your co-workers. Forge strong ties at the workplace by treating everyone with respect and avoid negative talks.

Learn how to work smart instead of working hard all the time. Aaron Taube says, “At work, you’re essentially managing two different things – your actual productivity, and how that productivity is being perceived by your bosses and peers.”

Final thoughts

Politics is not bad. It is the people who make it bad. Knowing how to act without getting into the muck is important to get the most of the office politics. Think out of the box. Be creative in your approach to situations to give yourself an edge over your co-workers.

When No Means Yes

May 22, 2017 in Careers

No yes

Handling rejection isn’t easy. You will find yourself in innumerable instances when you face rejection both personally and professionally. In moments of such despair it is natural that we cave into rejection but what really matters is how you counter attack the setbacks.

The point is no one is immune to rejection. Almost every successful person we ever know has had to deal with rejection at some point in time. We are all familiar with the spectacle Colonel Sanders – the founder of KFC. But what most of us don’t know that he faced rejection not once or twice but a whopping 1009 times before he tasted success.

His is an amazing story of perseverance, dedication, ambition, and hard work. His never say die attitude is the reason KFC is an internationally well-accepted brand today. We have an important lesson for us – Never give up. Rejection in personal or professional life can open the door for greater opportunities.

If your startup is not generating enough cash to sustain the business or you are unable to get a high-paying customer, it is time to do some introspecting. If you are not getting the desired career break or facing difficulties in convincing others about your ideas, don’t get disappointed. It is possible to change a No into a Yes professionally. But that raises the question: How do you turn a no into a yes?

Analyze your rejection

No doesn’t always mean no. Often; it is a quick response instead of “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know.”  Your first step is to analyze the situation to find possible answers.

In your professional career your rejection could stem for the following reasons:

  • Inadequate Information: The message you are trying to convey may hit a home run with the buyer. Different people need different amounts of information delivered in various ways before they come to a decision.
  • Wrong Timing: Timing your pitch is important. Their no could be a way of slowing the process down. It could mean “no, not right now.”
  • Wrong Circumstance: The opposite party may not want your level of expertise or service at the moment. Or you may not be the right fit for them.

Sort the confusion

The word “no” very often means that the buyers haven’t had all of their doubts or concerns addressed. Perhaps they’re confused about how you and your product compare to the competition. If customers aren’t convinced enough with regards to your product, they’ll put off making any decision.

Confront your contacts and sort the confusion rather than letting the opportunity pass. Persuade the buyer into making a decision rather than sulking about the initial rejection.

Use the feedback to bounce back stronger

Every “no” has a reason and a lesson behind it. Sometimes the rejection is inevitable – the buyer can be right.  You can use the opportunity to learn from what it has to offer and bounce back visibly stronger and wiser.

Remember attitude has a lot to do with handling a NO with finesse. It can actually lead new business your way. Success never comes easy. We have to pursue it with all we have and brave the worst dejection the world can offer.

Do you seriously want to be a millionaire?

May 15, 2017 in Careers

How to be a millionaire

Millionaire. It’s a title that most of us covet. But is that actually feasible?

I’ll be honest. Given the current job scenario, the future may look bleak if you’re a millennial. That’s why you may think that it’s impossible for you to become a millionaire. However, don’t get bogged down by the negative news. The basic economic environment is quite stable. You can achieve any economic goal if you make sincere efforts towards it.

The fact is, the goal is achievable if you are serious about becoming one – that is. Many average people have a millionaire before they turned 30. If they can do it, you can too.

Before I walk you through some simple ways to become a millionaire, reflect on how wealthy you are already. The chances are that you would land on the top 3.65 percent richest people in the world by income. Now imagine yourself making more.

Develop a Mindset – Making Money is not Evil

The first step to becoming a millionaire is to envision yourself as one. Be clear about how you want your life to look in the future. Self-made millionaires tend to have a clear sense of amassing money as an important objective in life. They consciously prioritize activities with highest paybacks.

Perseverance is an essential trait of a millionaire. Work smarter to make your money work for you. Millionaires many a time become millionaires and stay that way because they are never afraid to take a risk and invest.

Start Early

You can’t wake up one fine day and proclaim that you wish to be a millionaire by the end of the year. Amassing wealth is a time-consuming process. You need to discipline yourself and prepare yourself to make umpteen sacrifices while you are young.

You can’t leave everything to chance. The earlier you start following the money, the better is your chance of making a breakthrough as a millionaire early in your life.

Embrace Frugality

It’s a widely accepted fact that the wealthiest people are frugal. They spend wisely and use coupons whenever possible. They often live below their means and limit their entertainment.

Spending prudently doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. It just means you have to limit yourself from an extravagant lifestyle.

Ready to face boredom and monotonous life

Be prepared to go solo. Cut down on your outings and social gatherings if needed. Use these opportunities to read, exercise, update your skills, and focus on making a few extra bucks. The key is to be consistent in your efforts to being a millionaire.

Diversify Income and manage your Debt

Invest in your career and take it to the next level. Often making your passion work for you is the key to amassing wealth. It could be freelancing, volunteering as a guest lecturer, or even selling craft items. Ensure you have got rid of any debt before your stash away your money.

Dream of the possibility and believe in your ability. It could be simpler than you think. Remember, it’s OK to pursue millionaire status. But don’t do it for the fame. Pursue it for your family. Pursue it for your community. Pursue it for a purpose greater than yourself.

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