JoAnn Corley, speaker, career and management coach, and co-author of Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Success and Wisdom at Work, helps explain why and gives the working girl tips to help make her career more successful.
The fact is, many women are less likely than men to assert themselves at work. Corley explains that there are two reasons for this.
First, social conditioning makes women less likely to assert themselves at work. "We are conditioned at an early age to be more accommodating and compliant," Corley says. "Women are more relational and men are more transactional." Women hear more messages about not hurting other's feelings, getting along and not rocking the boat. We are taught to be sensitive, to socialize and to get along.
Second, Corley says that many women have personality types that make it difficult for them to assert themselves. "Two of the four personality types do not have a bias for action," explains Corley. "For example, people who have a need to connect have the hardest time saying no at work. The very word 'no' disconnects."
To be assertive in any situation, you sometimes have to disconnect from the group -- and put yourself first. "For many women, we are conditioned not to do that -- to feel bad or guilty about it -- and it's a huge emotional discomfort," concludes Corley.
Women can take a few steps to learn how to assert themselves at work.
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