<h3>Excerpt</h3> <div><div> <h2>CHAPTER 1</h2> <p><b>The Different Faces of Mean</p> <br> <p><i>What Is a Mean Girl?</i></b></p> <p>When you think of a mean girl at work, what comes to mind? Do images of Miranda Priestly from <i>The Devil Wears Prada</i> pop into your head? Do you envision Cruella de Vil of <i>101 Dalmatians</i> or the Wicked Witch of the West in <i>The Wizard of Oz</i>? Do you picture a woman who is unkind, spiteful, vicious, unfriendly, cold, aggressive, manipulative, nasty, vengeful, and power- hungry?</p> <p>The mean girls (and women) we read about, see portrayed on the screen, and sometimes encounter at work usually share certain characteristics:</p> <p>• They are the workplace bullies.</p> <p>• They pick on women who are weaker than they are.</p> <p>• They say cruel things that make other women cry.</p> <p>• They freeze other women out.</p> <p>• They seem determined to take other women down.</p> <p>• They're jealous of anyone else's success.</p> <br> <p>These are some of the typical characteristics that emerge when women describe truly unkind women at work. They depict mean girls in the extreme. "Vicious," "cruel," and "vengeful"—such behaviors are easy to recognize and associate with the mean girl profile. A woman who treats her colleagues in such obviously uncaring ways is clearly mean.</p> <p>But consider the more subtle kinds of mean behavior that one woman can show toward another, the less obvious ways in which one woman might hurt, insult, or otherwise injure her workplace colleagues:</p> <p>• Have you ever rolled your eyes when a woman you didn't like started speaking?</p> <p>• Have you ever given or received an intimidating up-and-down scan that said, "I'm judging you"?</p> <p>• Have you ever gossiped about someone who rubbed you the wrong way?</p> <p>• Who hasn't watched one woman open her mouth and utter the universally recognizable "agh" sigh of disgust aimed at another woman in a group?</p> <br> <p>These kinds of mean gestures are harder to detect, yet they are frequently made by women in the workplace. And while you may be a generally kind and loving person, we bet there are certain women you've encountered who bring out your meaner side.</p> <p><i>Just as there's a little bad in every boy, there's a little mean in every girl.</i> "Mean" is the inherently female way of showing displeasure, of staking out our territory and telling another woman to back off.</p> <p>Make no mistake: we are <i>huge</i> fans of women. We are women ourselves, and we're invested in the notion that women can and should be full players at work and in the world. We're also aware that woman-to-woman relationships are naturally intense. The biological imperative that compels us to "tend and befriend" can generate amazing friendships and incredibly productive work teams in any setting.</p> <p>But women are complicated. While most of us want to be kind and nurturing, we struggle with our darker side—feelings of jealousy, envy, and competition. While men tend to compete in an overt manner—jockeying for position and fighting to be crowned "winners"—women often compete more covertly and behind the scenes. This covert competition and indirect aggression is at the heart of mean behavior among women at work.</p> <p>Over the course of this book, we are going to give you strategies for handling a wide array of situations with women at work. In each case, one or more of the women involved could be labeled "mean." We're going to teach you our method for staying professional no matter how personally another woman attacks you or hurts your feelings.</p> <p>To begin our journey, let's look at the seven categories of mean that we'll be addressing in this book. Each category will have its own chapter, in which we'll describe specific situations that you may face involving another woman at work, along with field-tested tactics for keeping the relationship professional no matter what happens. Here we go.</p> <p><b>Meanest of the mean.</b> These are the women who feel that they must be mean in order to survive. They view other women as objects to be won over, manipulated, or eliminated. They lack compassion, and they are unable to see anybody else's point of view. An example is the Ice Princess who treats everyone around her with disdain.</p> <p><b>Very mean.</b> These women are tough on the outside and insecure on the inside. They do and say mean things whenever they encounter a woman who threatens them. They are quick to feel jealous, envious, and competitive with another woman. An example is the vicious gossip who spreads rumors to make another woman (whom she's jealous of) look bad.</p> <p><b>Passively mean.</b> This category of mean girls includes any woman who acts nice, but is covertly competitive. Because she fears confrontation, her mean comes out indirectly—through exclusion, omission, and avoidance. An example is the coworker who "accidentally" excludes you from a meeting where your attendance matters.</p> <p><b>Doesn't mean to be mean.</b> These are the women who are extremely self- absorbed. Their unconscious, inconsiderate behavior strikes other women as mean, but they don't see it. They are oblivious to the impact of their actions. An example is the coworker who is chronically late, leaving you in the lurch.</p> <p><b>Doesn't know she's mean.</b> These mean girls behave in ways that they <i>think</i> improve a situation, but that actually alienate the women around them. They are usually quite self-righteous and controlling. An example is a coworker who bosses you around because she thinks you need the benefit of her knowledge.</p> <p><b>Brings out your mean.</b> Certain women at work may get on your nerves. They have poor interpersonal boundaries and demand a lot of attention. Their neediness brings out <i>your</i> mean. You find yourself lashing out, gossiping about the person, avoiding her, or making faces when she's speaking. An example is the insecure coworker who asks too many questions, interrupting your workflow and depleting you of your energy.</p> <p><b>Group mean.</b> Sometimes mean girls form packs. There's usually a leader who enlists other women to taunt, tease, shut out, or otherwise attack an unsuspecting female employee. An example is a workplace clique that whispers when you walk by; you feel alienated and humiliated by them.</p> <br> <p><b><i>Our "Don't Go There" Process</i></b></p> <p>For every mean girl situation we describe, we're going to show you how to manage the other woman's behavior by using our five-step "Don't Go There" process.</p> <p>Women are <i>processors</i>. Most women sort out their experiences by hashing them out with other women. When something good or bad happens to us, we talk about it. For example, if a woman is bullied by a certain type of mean girl, she may feel attacked. She then seeks out friends, coworkers, family members, or mentors to hear her story, confirm how she's feeling, and offer different ideas for addressing the situation.</p> <p>When a woman feels attacked, she automatically goes through a three-step process:</p> <p>1. <b>She finds an ally and reports (with emotion) what the attacking woman did.</p> <p>Example:</b> "You've got to hear what she just did to me."</p> <p>2. <b>She follows the report with how she's feeling.</p> <p>Example:</b> "I'm so mad I could spit. She humiliated me in front of everyone. How could she do that?"</p> <p>3. <b>She then describes how she'd like to counterattack</p> <p>Example:</b> "I'm never talking to her again," or, "The next time she asks for help, she's out of luck."</p> <br> <p>If the attacked woman acts on her impulse to counterattack, she takes that workplace relationship out of the professional realm and turns it into a personal conflict. Many workplace wars start this way. Harsh words exchanged between two women can lead to a silent war that lasts for months and sometimes years.</p> <p>Our "Don't Go There" process incorporates this natural flow of events and prevents the incident from turning personal by giving you options. Instead of telling you to counter-attack, we say, "Don't go there." We then tell you what you can do to address the mean girl's behavior without losing your professional standing.</p> <br> <p><b><i>Here Is the "Don't Go There" Process</i></b></p> <p>1. <b><i>What She Does.</i></b> We describe what the mean girl does, such as how she may attack you.</p> <p>2. <b><i>How You Feel.</i></b> We define the natural, emotional reactions you're likely to have in response to her behavior.</p> <p>3. <b><i>Don't Go There.</i></b> We point out what <i>not</i> to do by showing you how to avoid counterattacking her. (This is the most difficult step—refraining from both verbal and nonverbal methods of fighting back.)</p> <p>4. <b><i>Go Here.</i></b> We offer professional, reputation-enhancing, job- saving actions you can take to manage the situation.</p> <p>5. <b><i>Going Forward.</i></b> We explain how to work with (and protect yourself from) this type of mean girl in the future.</p> <br> <p>Each chapter contains a number of scenarios, one narrative story called "In Her Own Words," and a few "Coffee Breaks" that give you insight and energy as you discover how to keep interactions with any mean girl professional, no matter what she does.</p> <p>Need a cup of coffee now? Here's a coffee break that describes the silent weapons that women use to communicate. Read it, and see if you can relate.</p> <br> <p><b>Coffee Break</b></p> <p><i>Silent Weapons Women Use</i></p> <p>Whoever said, "If looks could kill ..." must have been referring to a woman. Women are the masters of non-verbal communication. One way in which women can be passively mean is by sending nonverbal messages. Consider whether you've ever received or delivered any of the following:</p> <p><i>Up-and-down scan.</i> This "sizes up" another woman and lets her know she's being judged.</p> <p><i>Rolling the eyes.</i> This conveys irritation and impatience with whatever the other woman is saying.</p> <p><i>Averting her gaze.</i> Avoiding eye contact can say, "I'm mad at you," or, "I want nothing to do with you."</p> <p><i>Nudging a girlfriend as another woman walks by.</i> This is usually accompanied by a whisper or a sneer; it lets the other woman know that she's being talked about.</p> <p><i>Sighing.</i> This communicates, "Not this again," or, "Are you finished?"</p> <p><i>Sneering.</i> As the upper lip curls up, the eyes narrow to let another woman know, "You disgust me."</p> <p><i>Giving a disapproving glance.</i> This establishes the fact that one woman is judging another.</p> <p><i>Offering a fake smile.</i> This is a mocking gesture that says just the opposite—"I don't like you," or, "I think you're an idiot."</p> <p><i>Turning away from her.</i> Usually done as the woman approaches, this gesture lets her know, "I'm not speaking to you."</p> <p><i>Talking to the hand.</i> A woman raises her hand up to another woman's face to communicate, "I don't care about you, and I don't want to hear what you have to say."</p> <p><i>Shaking the head in disbelief while furrowing the brow and raising the upper lip.</i> This signals, "You've got to be kidding me."</p> <p><i>Pointing or wagging a finger.</i> This indicates, "You are the problem," or, "I blame you for this."</p> <br> <p>Each of these gestures is a form of attack. If you've been on the receiving end, you know how humiliating it is to be subjected to one of these assaults. If you've doled out one or more of these gestures, you can increase your professionalism today by deciding to put your nonverbal weapons down.</p> <p>You are now ready to embark on a journey into the world of <i>Mean Girls at Work</i>. We hope you enjoy the ride. Take your time, and remember that staying professional when things get personal takes practice.</p> <h2>CHAPTER 2</h2> <p><b>Meanest of the Mean</b></p> <br> <p>In most cases, it's possible to break a cycle of mean behavior between women and get the relationship to a better place. Then there are the extreme cases. These involve women who see every woman (and some men) as a threat—before they even know her.</p> <p>These women consider being mean—whether covertly or overtly—to be essential for survival. Unlike the average gal, they can't tolerate a level playing field. In their world, there are only winners and losers, and they need to be on top. We call these women the "meanest girls" because they'll do whatever it takes to win.</p> <p>While most women have the capacity to behave poorly toward other women on occasion, the meanest girls are fundamentally different. You can never really <i>win</i> with these women. For this reason, handling the "meanest girls" at work requires a different strategy.</p> <p>Let's travel back to grade school or junior high and the first time you encountered a truly mean girl. She may have been the head cheerleader or the leader of a popular clique. Perhaps she was very pretty or supercool and aloof. She may have teased you for being different or made fun of you in front of her friends. She probably excluded you from her lunch table or smirked as you walked down the hall. You may have caught her whispering about you to her girlfriends.</p> <p>Anyone who was part of her pack had to agree with everything she said, dress according to her style, and follow her orders. Mean girls in the early years are intimidating, belittling, and bullying. Anyone who is subjected to their taunting or teasing behavior feels humiliated and embarrassed. Adolescence and the self-consciousness that comes with it are hard enough. Mean girls can make your teenage life truly awful.</p> <p>Many women spend their teen years avoiding mean girls. They eventually form their own group of solid friends, and they make sure that they steer clear of the mean girl's venom. They also learn how to protect each other from a possible attack.</p> <p>If you were lucky enough to navigate the mean girls of grade school, junior high, and high school successfully, it can be shocking when you discover that a grown woman at your dream job is mean, too. At first, you can't believe it. You try everything you know to make things better with this woman—compliment her clothes, bake cookies for her, or help her out when she's in a jam. And still, she's cold and rejecting.</p> <p>If you're dealing with a truly mean girl, one of her limitations is that she's literally incapable of seeing your point of view. Meanest girls can feel sorry for people who are weaker than they are, but they cannot <i>empathize</i> with them. That is, they truly cannot imagine what another person is thinking or feeling. For the meanest girls, other people are objects to be charmed, manipulated, controlled, or eliminated.</p> <p>Sound harsh? Perhaps. But that's because the meanest girls are missing the usual psychological equipment that most women have. Unlike the majority of women at work, who naturally tend-and-befriend, the meanest girls can't really cooperate. They don't know how to have reciprocal, win/win relationships.</p> <p>When you're dealing with a meanest girl at work, your goal is not to unite—she's not capable of that. Instead, your aim is to protect yourself and maintain a neutral alliance. What follows are nine of the most common types of meanest girls at work, along with solid strategies for defending yourself against them.</p> <p>Hang on. Read the profiles in this chapter, and put some of our strategies to work. It may not be easy, but we trust that you can maintain a solid professional demeanor despite the meanest girl's personal assaults.</p> <br> <p><b><i>She's an Ice Princess</i></p> <p>What She Does</b></p> <p>Sometimes you encounter a female colleague who has an air of superiority toward anyone who is her peer or her subordinate. She carries herself regally. She dresses impeccably. She acts like a princess who can't be bothered with commoners. While she'll put on the charm for anyone who is in a position of authority (her boss, a client, or the CEO), she's cold, dismissive, and demeaning to everyone else.</p> <p>At first, you may not believe that she's as cold as she appears. You try to connect with her woman to woman. You strike up a conversation looking for some common ground—maybe you admire her outfit or ask about her commute—but she does not take the bait. Instead, she acts disinterested and bored.</p> <p>When she speaks to you, she acts as if you're below her. At an event, she bosses you around, treating you like her servant. Her disdain for you seems unfounded. Yet it starts to hurt your self-esteem.</p> <br> <p><b>How You Feel</b></p> <p>Her demeaning behavior makes you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. You get nervous whenever you have to spend time in her presence. Working with her feels awkward and oppressive. She's so uncooperative that you dread any project that requires her participation.</p> <br> <p><b>Don't Go There</b></p> <p>• Don't spend your energy agonizing over why she treats you so poorly.</p> <p>• Don't try to charm her into being nice to you—it won't work.</p> <p>• Don't cut her out of meetings or projects just to avoid interactions with her.</p> <p>• Don't call her derogatory names as she leaves the room.</p> <br> <p><b>Go Here</b></p> <p>This kind of situation is a challenge for any woman. Ice Princesses usually do quite well at work because, while they aren't nice to the people around them, they know how to charm the people above them. And this kind of mean girl does produce results. Your best approach is to keep a cool distance from her while maintaining a professional relationship. Do <i>not</i> take her behavior personally. See her as an unpleasant obstacle that you have to deal with, but you do not have to like. </div></div><br/> <i>(Continues...)</i> <!-- Copyright Notice --> <div><blockquote><hr noshade size="1"><font size="-2">Excerpted from <b>MEAN GIRLS AT WORK</b> by <b>Katherine Crowley, Kathi Elster</b>. Copyright © 2013 by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..<br/>All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br/>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.</font><hr noshade size="1"></blockquote></div>