Have you ever felt invisible? Taken advantage of? Reluctant (or unable) to articulate what you really want? If so, join the club. The nice girls club. Nice girls—that’s right, girls—are those more concerned with pleasing others than with addressing their own needs and haven’t yet learned how to overcome the childhood messages cultural stereotypes keeping them from getting their voices heard, their needs met, and the lives they want.
This book will turn those nice girls into winning women. That is, women who factor their own needs in with those of others, confront those who treat them disrespectfully, maintain healthy and mutually beneficial relationships with appropriate boundaries— and as a result, are happier and more successful in every area of their life.
In 2004, Lois Frankel blew the lid off so many of our long-held ideas about gender and success with her bestselling Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, which went on to become such a huge phenomenon, the term “nice girls” has secured a place in our cultural lexicon. Here, Frankel teams up with negotiation expert Carol Frohlinger to bring this bestselling advice out of the workplace and provide a broader set of skills that any woman—whether a CEO or stay-at-home mom—can use to win anywhere, with anyone.
Presented in the straightforward, digestible format that helped make Nice Girl’s Don’t Get the Corner Office an instant hit, Frankel and Frohlinger outline seven practical strategies and 99 supporting tactics that every winning woman should know. By the time you’ve finished reading this book, you’ll be able to:
• Get your husband to do his half of the household chores—without being made to feel like a nag.
• Stop overextending yourself by taking on all the unpleasant tasks no one on your volunteer board, or your team at work will go near.
• Win an argument with your mother in law about who will be hosting Christmas dinner.
• Have the courage to send back a meal that isn’t prepared the way you’d ordered it.
• Confront a colleague who is shirking responsibility or taking credit for your work.
• Convince a sales person to reduce a fee, waive a surcharge, or honor a store credit.
• Question a doctor’s course or treatment or request a second opinion, instead of simply going along in order to be a “good” patient.
• Firmly but politely bow out of an extravagant vacation to celebrate a friend’s birthday that you simply can’t afford–without feeling guilty about it.
And so much more.
A must-read for anyone who’s ever felt taken advantage of by a friend or family member, unappreciated by a spouse or partner, or exploited by a vindictive neighbor or co-worker, Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It offers women the indispensable knowledge and skills to get the things they want, the respect they’ve earned, and the success they deserve.
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Nice girls put everyone else’s needs before their own. They hesitate to take action because they don’t want to make waves or be labeled a bitch, and they don’t ask for what they want so as not to appear high maintenance. Winning women factor their needs in with those of others. They know how to approach confrontations without being confrontational and they are willing to take risks in diplomatically asking for what they’ve earned, deserve, or want. What are some of the most common mistakes women make when it comes to getting the things they most want in life and why do they make them?
1. Not knowing what they want! Women have been socialized to put others needs before their own, so frequently they can’t put a figure on exactly what it is they do want, or are afraid to express it for fear that others will see them as greedy or needy. 2. Not knowing when it’s time to walk away from a bad situation. Women often think they can turn it around or that it’s their fault, when in fact neither is true. 3. Communicating indirectly. They expect others to read their minds, use so many words when expressing themselves that others tune out or can’t figure out what they really want, and put their assertions in the form of questions. All of these behaviors contribute to unclear and diluted messages. Why are men often better negotiators than women?
The reasons are complicated. Women are as good as men when they are negotiating on behalf of others (such as their families) but fall short when they are negotiating for themselves, for example, when they negotiate salary. Nice girls have a particularly difficult time as negotiators because they tend to accept the rules as they are, failing to recognize they can challenge the status quo. Take the all-too-common situation of the woman who holds down a job and then heads home for the “second shift.” She fails to recognize the opportunity to negotiate a more equitable solution with her family–she’s not the only person who’s capable of sorting laundry and grocery shopping! When you look at high-profile contemporary women, who do you see getting it right?
People like Anne Mulcahy at Xerox, actor Sandra Bullock, and media mogul Oprah Winfrey are all getting it right. They haven’t sacrificed their femininity to get what they want, and they don’t suffer fools gladly. Each is a unique combination of the characteristics that make up the personalities of winning women. Give us three tips women can put to immediate use to start getting what they want–now!
1. Define with crystal clarity what it is you want that you don’t currently have. It could be a better job, to leave a bad relationship, or to tell your mother-in-law to butt out of your business. Until you can “see” and “say” what you want, you won’t get it. 2. Speak in headlines with taglines. The first thing out of your mouth should be your main point, not a lot of filler words. Give your opinion briefly and succinctly. Then follow it up with an inclusive tagline such as, “You can see I have strong feelings about this. I’d also like to know what you think.” The tagline mitigates the impression of being too aggressive. 3. Avoid V-8 moments. Rather than walk away from difficult conversations thinking, “I should have said __________,” prepare in advance for resistance. If you know your husband will be resistant to you going back to work, consider what his objections might be and have a response ready.