Why Every Woman Entrepreneur Should Read "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office"

a year ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
As a female entrepreneur, if you've ever found yourself indecisive, mousy or simply backing down from something you shouldn't, Lois P. Frankel's Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office is just for you. Dr. Frankel explores the behavior that makes women successful, and the pitfalls that keep them stagnate in their careers.
More often than not, these patterns of behavior are innate since childhood and are subconscious barriers that need to be recognized before they are broken. Here are a few tips from Dr. Frankel that every executive or professional should know to eliminate the unconscious mistakes they could be making.
Operational Mistakes
According to Dr. Frankel, there are quite a few ways in which successful women think they are "playing the game," when in actuality, they could be playing themselves. Operational mistakes are things you might be doing within your company that are limiting you based on gender, like the following:
  • Working nonstop
  • Doing the work for other individuals
  • Holding your tongue
  • Protecting non-assets
  • Failure to capitalize on opportunities and relationships
  • Not saying “no” when you already have a full plate of work
Behavioral Patterns
The book also explores the notion that how you act also determines what you get in the workplace. More often than not, women behave contrary to how they think – because they’ve been conditioned to do so. Here are a few prime examples of these unconscious behaviors:
  • Polling people to make a decision (i.e. "What do you think?")
  • Over-sharing
  • Flirting
  • Not standing up to a bully or harassment
  • Financial insecurity
  • Being too concerned about offending others
Thought Patterns
All behavior begins with a thought, and thus there are certain thought patterns that may create a gender barrier in the workplace. These can include corrosive ideas like:
  • Blaming yourself when you aren't at fault
  • Over obedience to instructions
  • Viewing men in authority as a father figure
  • Allowing people to waste your time
  • Refusing any perks
  • Imagining negative scenarios
Marketing yourself is the key to being a successful entrepreneur, and Dr. Frankel notes that some women may be hesitant to be proactive on this point. Failing to define your brand is a common mistake many entrepreneurs make, and it can be a costly one. The inability to market yourself can lead to the demise of your business. The following are some ways in which women fail to brand themselves:
  • Going on a first name basis and/or using a nickname
  • Minimizing your position
  • Giving your ideas away
  • Ignoring feedback
  • Waiting for people to notice you
Sounding Off
In addition to thoughts and behaviors, how you sound to others makes for a deep professional impression. You might be behaving and thinking in all the right ways, but if you're coming off in the wrong one, it could be detrimental to your business. A few brief examples of how not to sound off include:
  • Creating questions out of statements
  • Apologizing unnecessarily
  • Asking for permission
  • Speaking too fast
  • Not answering the question on the table
  • Speaking in soft tones
Ultimately, how you respond to every situation in the workplace is what truly defines you in the business world. It is not the obstacle you face but how you handle them that can empower you – regardless of your gender. Negative responses can include:
  • Internalizing criticism
  • Feeling intellectually inferior
  • Waiting to speak last
  • Putting the needs of others before yours
  • Exercising too much patience
It's all in the title: Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office. If you want to be a successful female entrepreneur, you have to be aware of your unconscious behavior, thoughts and response patterns in the workplace. By recognizing these patterns and deciding whether they’re playing a role in not achieving your goals or objectives, entrepreneurs can take steps to address the issue. Dr. Frankel has done an excellent job of rounding up a number of different points that many entrepreneurs have never considered. Picking up this book can give you insights into hidden behaviors and actions that may not be serving your best interests.
Have you read Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or join in the discussion on Kabbage’s social media channels.

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