Thursday, November 13, 2008

What Every Working Woman Should Know ... And Do by Terry Prone (Book review)

Don't be fooled by the title - Terry Prone has written the book about the modern workplace. For everyone. Everything you need to live, thrive and survive [thank you Elwood] as you wend your way through the office minefield is here.

On this subject, Terry is an engaging, unequivocal and unapologetic writer. No sugar coating or soft soaping here, just sound, practical advice that will help you see yourself and your colleagues with true clarity. The chapter on Bullying And Harassment alone is worth the cover price and that section should be required reading on every company induction programme.

A smattering of money quotes:
(On office dress) "The employer's assumption - and it's a fair assumption - is that career-building requires more than qualifications and diligence. It requires emotional intelligence. And if an employee doesn't have the emotional intelligence to read the language of the clothes worn all around them, they don't belong."

(On mindset) "What men do - and what women need to more of - is socialise upwards. Women socialise downwards. Promote a woman in business and her major problem tends to be how to stay friends with the pals she's left behind ..."

(On appraisals) "(the subordinate) said his feelings had been hurt. He said he'd never expected any client to go behind his back to the boss. He said he felt he'd been betrayed and traduced. The manager listened patiently to all this and then took charge of the meeting. 'Now, putting your feelings to one side,' he began. The employee with who he was dealing almost lost his reason. Put his feelings to one side? Yes, said the manager equably. It was now time to deal with the realities."
Terry even quotes from Malleus Maleficarum - the 15th century manual for witch-hunters: "Three vices appear to have special dominion over wicked women, namely, infidelity, ambition and lust." Ambition!? No, no no - that won't do at all! This must be stamped out at all costs!

I had the pleasure of sharing the airwaves with Terry a few days ago, talking about the book, the modern workplace and whether witch-hunting is still an acceptable hobby to list on your CV.



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Stunning writing, mandatory reading for one and all - Amazon UK has it here.

1 comment:

Kev_N said...

Does he call you "Ronan" every time you're on air?