Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office 101 – A Book Summary

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Dr. Frankel clearly identifies the common mistakes -101 in

all–that women commit unconsciously to sabotage their

careers. This book provides revolutionary guides to help

the women of today eliminate the girl-like behaviors they

became accustomed with, which hold them back professionally.

How You Play the Game

Unfortunately, women are not as trained to participate in

competitive sports. It is only recently that women started

making their marks in this field. Thus, most women do not

know the rules of the game of business. They simply do not

know how to play it–and more importantly, how to win it.

Some of the common mistakes women commit as they play the

game of business are: pretending it isn’t a game; playing

the game safely and within bounds; working hard; doing the

what you want; avoiding office politics; being the

conscience; protecting jerks; holding your tongue;

failing to capitalize on relationships; and, not

understanding the needs of your constituents.

How You Act

Being successful in the world of business is not only

dependent on your knowledge of how to play it. It is also

important to know how to act, professionally. Dr. Frankel

enumerates some unlikely behaviors in the workplace that

can be hard career busters.

These are: polling before making a decision; needing to

be liked; not needing to be liked; not asking questions

for fear of sounding stupid; acting like a man; telling

the whole truth and nothing but the truth (so help you

God); sharing too much personal information; being

overly concerned with offending others; denying the

importance of money; flirting; acquiescing to bullies;

decorating your office like your living room; feeding

others; offering a limp handshake; being financially

insecure; and, helping.

How You Think

Changing the way you think can greatly impact a change

in your career. Note the beliefs and thought patterns

you learn early in girlhood that you need to reconsider

and then eventually forget.

Some of these are: making miracles; taking full

responsibility; obediently following instructions;

viewing men in authority as father figures; limiting

your possibilities; ignoring the quid pro quo (something

that’s exchanged in return for something else); skipping

meetings; putting work ahead of your personal life;

letting people waste your time; prematurely abandoning

your career goals; ignoring the importance of network

relationships; refusing perks; making up negative

stories; and, striving for perfection.

How You Brand and Market Yourself

Marketing oneself is as important as marketing a

specific brand. Think of yourself as a brand that’s

needs to be marketed effectively. Alongside these come

some important points that women need to particularly


The following are some mistakes to avoid in marketing

yourself: falling to define your brand; minimizing your

work or position; using only your nickname or first name;

waiting to be noticed; refusing high-profile assignments;

being modest; staying in you safety zone; giving away

your ideas; working in stereotypical roles or

departments; ignoring feedback; and, being invisible;

How You Sound

Put special attention to your choice words, tone of voice,

speed of speech and thought organization process. These

usually matter more than the content of your speech. An

articulately delivered speech will help you be branded

as knowledgeable, confident and competent. Remember,

how you sound comprises 90% of your credibility.

Take note of these common mistakes: couching statements as

questions; using preambles; explaining; asking permission;

apologizing; using minimizing words; using qualifiers; not

answering the question; talking too fast; the inability to

speak the language of your business; using nonwords; using

touchy-feely language; sandwich-effect; speaking softly;

speaking at a higher-than-natural pitch; trailing voice

mails; failing to pause or reflect before responding.

How You Look

There is this common notion that “the best and the

brightest are rewarded with promotions and choice

assignments.” This is entirely wrong. Those who are

competent enough, sound and look good are the ones who

move forward in their careers. Statistically, research

shows that 55% of your credibility comes from how you

look; 38% from how you sound; and, only 7% from what

you actually say.

Carry yourself properly by avoiding these mistakes:

smiling inappropriately; taking up too little space;

using gestures inconsistent with your message; being

over- or underanimated; tilting your head; wearing

inappropriate makeup; wearing the wrong hairstyle;

dressing inappropriately; sitting on your foot; grooming

in public; sitting in meetings with your hands under

the table; wearing your reading glasses around your

neck; accessorizing too much; and, failing to maintain

eye contact;

How You Respond

It is important to know how to respond to the ways others

treat you. And some of the common pitfalls women do as a

response to a certain gesture are as follows:

Internalizing messages; believing others know more than

you; taking notes, getting coffee, and making copies;

tolerating inappropriate behavior; exhibiting too much

patience; accepting dead-end assignments; putting the

needs of others before your own; denying your power;

allowing yourself to be the scapegoat; accepting fait

accompli (irreversible or predetermined decisions);

permitting others’ mistakes to inconvenience you; being

the last to speak; playing the gender card; tolerating

sexual harassment; and, crying.

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