Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What men have to say ...

Let's face it - men and women are just different. Not just in personal relationships, but in the business world as well. Shaunti Feldhahn's new book "The Male Factor" gives readers a peek into "the unwritten rules, misperceptions, and secret beliefs of men in the workplace." This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Feldhahn and her research team have gathered insights from hundreds of men in the business world through surveys and interviews to answer this core question: "Is there anything you've seen talented women do that undermines their effectiveness with men, simply because the women don't know how it is being perceived?" 

Beginning with differences in the structure of the male and female brain, and exploring topics such as "It's not personal, it's business," the emotional side of women, getting the job done no matter what, and other ways women may unknowingly undermine their full potential in the workplace, the men, many of whom are high-level executives, give feedback to the core question, and practical advice for women to work more effectively with men on the job.

What did I like about the book? Feldhahn tells in the introduction how she was able to get men to first of all take the survey, and secondly be honest in their answers. Most of the men quoted in the book genuinely want women to be successful.

What I didn't like so much? The book seems to be directed toward women in white-collar, high-level, or at least upwardly-mobile career paths. I would also have liked to see some references to how working-class Joe the Plumber men would answer the core question, to see if their answers are in line with the CEO's and CFO's answers.

Would I recommend this book? I believe this book is beneficial to women who wish to advance in their careers, or who are starting careers in competitive, traditionally male-dominated fields. A word of caution though. Some women may take offense to the subjects brought up by the men who were interviewed, for example, the chapter about how men react to some wardrobe choices. The underlying intent of this book is for it to be read with the perception of a mentor giving constructive feedback how to improve how you relate with male colleagues.

I do have one copy of this book to give away. I will be choosing the recipient from those who leave a comment.

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