For most of us, just the mere thought of working with women as peers, and more so as our superiors, makes us cringe! Why is that? How about working in an office solely comprised of women that's estrogen rampant? Hmmmm... I can't even imagine. While some may think that it could be pleasant, which is possible if there is a sense of solidarity among the women (rarely the case), for the most part, the singular dynamic takes its taxing toll. Not only is it difficult enough to manage varying personalities and characters in any office, women’s emotionally driven personalities make the working environment that much more susceptible to tension and conflict.
I’m not by any means an anti-feminist, in fact, I am an avid supporter of the progression of women in the workplace. Hence why I want to raise awareness on this issue that affects most of us! Every one of my friends has faced this dilemma in some respect. And, I have found through my professional experiences that some women I have met or worked with, and who have had any level, even the slightest, of superiority, have taken advantage of their position, a.k.a. the infamous POWER TRIP! There are of course exceptions to every rule, and I myself know a handful of women in leadership positions that are extremely pleasant, and are the epitome of a PROFESSIONAL, period.
So why is it that, for the most part, women in the work place can be so catty? Robert Sutton, a professor of management science at Stanford University suggests that, "Women are better at reading emotions, so they're good at little digs that most men wouldn't even register— the quick glare, or turning away and talking to someone else." Sounding familiar? How about the sabotage-her, she’s the one that perpetuates the typical vicious gossip or takes credit for your work? Yes, and Yes! Ughhhhhh!
Although it is a difficult concept to understand without experiencing it first hand, it all relates to the dreaded MEAN GIRLS school of thought we've all experienced at some level in high school. In some form or another, it is a natural occurrence that women will gravitate towards peers and colleagues with their shared similarities. Hence, the creation of the never ending CLIQUES!
Once these alliances… err, friendships have formed, the gossip and bipartisanship ensues… and so it begins. Every singular event, conversation, or occurrence thereafter is approached as an opportunity for INTRA-OFFICE-BATTLE. And as we prepare for battle, we strap on our fake smiles, stilletos, and red lipstick. Neutral Nancy and Peacemaker Patty are always the war causalities caught in the cross-fire, as I've learned, neutral never works my dears! I’ve tried the technique, and you usually end up being the common target for the snipers.
Maybe some women entertain themselves throughout the day with office gossip, I am no exception (always classy never trashy), but the unavoidable consequence is the resulting polarization of the office cliques. I mean really, who hasn’t walked into a room and noticed the conversation come to a halt, HELLO! Ultimately, these alliances create an atmosphere of tension, paranoia, and overall bitchyness! Is this high school all over again?
LADIES! Although I wish there was a simple solution to this growing issue, which I have personally experienced along with many of you I'm sure, the most comforting and friendly (*disclaimer – not legal!) advice I can impart is, “Keep in mind that life has a funny way of working out: When you're dealing with a bitch, remember that karma, as they say, is a bitch as well. In the end, the universe might just kick your bully to the curb.”
Read more at Women's Health:http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/coping with-bullies#ixzz1z6IyWI6l; Images c/o: cope2.blogspot.com and thecount.com.