April 7, 2013

Still Making my Way Through Lean In

Filed under: Uncategorized — mvervinck @ 12:52 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I am over half way through the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg which according to my Kindle should take me an hour and 54 minutes to complete.  (By the way, it feels  a little bit creepy that it can tell this.)  Anyway,  as I am reading it, I am beginning to see that a lot of what she writes about is really true, even in my mundane life in academia which is a far cry from her life in the high tech business world.

Women need to support other women in the world of work.  It may be in our genes and how we relate to each other from the time we are in elementary school, throughout high school and into adulthood.  We do not relate to each other as men relate to each other, or even as men and women relate to each other, when it comes to work and careers.  Women tend to see each other as competition.  Our claws can come out quickly when we see someone doing something that we feel threatened by.  We need to change this.  No one will succeed if we do not stop fighting amongst ourselves.  Women need to learn how to work together so that we, as a whole, will be able to be successful.  If women learn how to work together, we will enjoy even more success than what individual women can alone.

One example of how we sabotage ourselves is our reactions to new ideas.  Women tend to pay attention to the small details and our emotions get involved very quickly when it comes to new ways of doing things.  For instance, a small irritating thing may occur during a meeting about a new idea; the two sexes can view this same exact irritant very differently.  To some men, it may just be small speed bump to get over and to get past, but to some women, it might actually become a road block that they cannot get passed nor move on from.  The new idea which was on a roll, stumbles and then stops, dead in its tracks.  To me, some women tend to fixate on the small things or even to pick apart the idea to see what is wrong with it.  They never get to the big picture.  I wonder how many brilliant, and not so brilliant, ideas have become dead ideas because of the in-fighting of a team.  The wonderful big ideas which have been lost to those who focused too much on the tiny details which could have worked themselves out if allowed to do so.

I really do not like to make generalizations.  However, I see a difference in the way that men and women react to circumstances at work.  I am not saying that the reactions of men are always right, nor am I saying that the reactions of women are always wrong.  What I am saying is that we need to learn how to work with each other, how to support each other, how to take and give constructive criticism, and how important it is to look at the big picture, not only at our self-portrait.


1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Jane Doe (at your service).

    Comment by clb50 — April 7, 2013 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

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