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Friday, December 21, 2012


Mean Girls At Work by Katherine Crowley & Kathi Elster - Book review

Mean Girls at Work

How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal

By: Katherine Crowley, Kathi Elster

Published: October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 0071802045
ISBN-13: 978-0071802048
Publisher: McGraw-Hill

"The purpose of this book is to give women the knowledge and skills that they need in order to stay professional no matter how other women behave at work", write Harvard trained psychotherapist and co-founder of K Squared Enterprises, Katherine Crowley; and management consultant, executive coach, and co-founder of K Squared Enterprises, Kathi Elster, in their straight talking and professional skills building book Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal. The authors describe how workplace relationships between women are not always smooth or pleasant, and share the strategies and techniques for successfully navigating those challenging relationships effectively and professionally.

Katherine Crowley (photo left) and Kathi Elster understand that work environment based relationships between women are unique and posses their own special dynamics. These often difficult personal interactions can occur between colleagues, with bosses, clients, or staff members. These relationships can be very toxic, and the authors share the knowledge to build new interactions that have benefits and supports for each of the women involved.

The authors take these interpersonal relationships between women very seriously as they can affect not only the careers and health of the women, but they can affect the overall performance of the workplace as well. The authors share strategies and ideas for women at all stages of their careers, from the first job to established employees, to transform those challenging relationships into ones that are mutually beneficial each woman.

Kathi Elster (photo left) and Katherine Crowley recognize the complexity of woman to woman relationships in the workplace. Because these interactions are so multifaceted, the authors offer guidance to women on how to stay professional, and to ensure that they don't contribute to the personality clashes as well. Instead, the authors recommend a professional approach to handling those difficult women in the work environment.

The authors share a hands on reference guide book to meeting the challenge, posed by the most toxic women in the workplace, in an assertive and professional manner. The authors outline the various personality types and behavior patterns displayed by the mean girls in the workplace. The various chapters that address these issues are as follows:

* The different faces of mean: what is a mean girl
* Meanest of the mean: Taking behavior less personally
* Very mean: When she can't admit to her bad behavior
* Passively mean: Gossip and exclusion
* Doesn't mean to be mean: Setting limits on her behavior
* Doesn't know she's mean: Watching her words
* She brings out your mean: Avoiding the traps
* Group mean: Addressing the cliques

For me, the power of the book is how Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster outline and describe the many forms that mean behavior manifests itself in various women, and then provide the strategies and tactics for dealing with each type of behavior effectively. The authors divide the book into the various types of toxic personalities found among women in the workplace, and offer the most professional techniques for addressing their bad behavior. Indeed, the authors stress professionalism and ethical behavior in dealing with the problem women. This advice for women in the workplaces makes this book especially valuable, as it creates an atmosphere for mutually beneficial outcomes.

To their credit as well, the authors also recognize the potential for mean girls in the office to bring out the same traits in their targets. The authors share important advice to avoid falling into the the vengeance and retaliation traps. The authors believe intensely that women are valuable employees in the workplace, and their book goes far toward resolving personality and behavior clashes, and toward building a more collaborative and professional workplace.

I highly recommend the very results oriented and workplace transformational book Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster, to any women seeking a clear and concise guide to resolving workplace problems involving the bad behavior of other female employees. This book will turn formerly toxic behavior into mutually beneficial and collaborative outcomes.


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