You're Going to Run into Mean Women at Work
October 5, 2011 • 6 comment(s)
Maura Schreier-Fleming is a sales strategist and founder of Best@Selling, a sales training and consulting company. She wrote Monday Morning Sales Tips and works with sales professionals who want to sell more and get more business.
It’s bad enough that men sabotage women at work. It’s worse when women do it to each other. You probably know all about “mean girls” in high school. It doesn’t stop there. They become mean women at work. Don’t you get caught in their meanness.
How do they get where they are? Often, it starts when they get promoted into jobs for which they are unprepared. I’ve seen the mean girls who cultivate relationships with their superiors, yet they treat subordinates and peers like the enemy. Their behavior towards other women whom they manage is often especially dictatorial and unpleasant.
It’s sad, but often senior managers don’t notice that mean women deal with their superiors in a very different way than they deal with subordinates. Mean women don’t do what smart women do when they get promoted. Smart women learn to grow with the job. They read. They listen. They surround themselves with people who can help them succeed while they learn to do their new job.
Mean women are not secure enough to surround themselves with people who are smarter than they are so that the job gets done. Smarter people might threaten them. When things start to fall apart, they stress. What do they do? They scream and threaten. I’ve known of women who publicly threaten to fire any subordinates who don’t get the job done. That’s a strategy that motivates no one.