For Women Only in the Workplace - Book Review

I began reporting to a new male supervisor the same day the mailman delivered the book For Women Only in the Workplace: What You Need to Know about How Men Think at Work, by Shaunti Feldhahn. My previous supervisor, a female, had a passion for Jesus and had become a close friend, so I felt devastated by her departure. The dynamics of my work environment were about to change drastically, and I was eager to get my hands on any tool to help me become mentally prepared.

Through stories and examples to back up her ideas, Shaunti Feldhahn explains how men and women operate and communicate differently at work.  She discusses mistakes that women make in the workplace, why respect is so important to men and unintentional ways women undermine it, how men’s ability to compartmentalize affects their methods, and many other interesting topics. 

Among the interesting ideas to consider, a couple seemed most applicable to me:
  • Get to the point. Men like to hear the conclusion up front, then the story of how you got there. Hearing the conclusion or bottom line up front helps them listen. Personally, I find this true for myself as well, so while I’m not convinced it’s strictly a male quality, it’s a good idea to keep in mind whether speaking with males or females.
  • Asking questions might be viewed as a sign of weakness. What women view as the quickest and most efficient route to the answer, men view as being unable to figure things out on your own. I’d like to argue with this because it sounds so stereotypical - like a man not wanting to ask for directions when he’s lost; however, I truly got nicked on an evaluation by a male supervisor once for asking questions. I was told to just fly by the seat of my pants instead.
While at times I felt like Shaunti Feldhahn was stereotyping and categorizing people in boxes by gender without consideration of personality types or other factors, there was valuable information to carry into my life – not just for the purpose of career success, either.  She presents the information in a way that we can honor God not only in the workplace but in every aspect of our lives. Integrating some of the insights into everyday life is a way to love our neighbors and look out for the interests of others.  

Even though I don’t agree with all the ideas in this book, I found it intriguing.  If you haven’t read many books on the differences between men and women and you spend time with men at work, I’d recommend this book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review. The opinions I have expressed herein are my own. 

1 comment:

  1. This is something worth considering. I notice that structuring an argument by women is different from men and therein lies confusion sometimes.
    Thank you for the review.