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How can women earn respect at the workplace in the face of negative stereotypes about women at work? Here are some tips.
It is sad but true – the common perception in the corporate world is that women work for ‘time-pass’ as they are not the bread-winners of the family anyway. Even though it is not voiced out, many feel that women do not add much value to the whole system, as their sole focus in not on the work and that they are here to discuss mothers-in-law, or boyfriends or children’s homework.
It may sound old-school, but we women need to break out of this stereotyped image, and earn the respect of colleagues, to progress in our corporate careers.
Here are few sure-fire tips to earn respect in your work place.
While you are at work, do not think of anything beyond. Communicate proactively about any challenges that deter your progress and work towards your deadlines with perseverance and dedication. Many a time, we see that people are more bothered about the work of the other person than their own. They keep checking on who has less work or more stringent deadlines than theirs. Do not bother – let your work speak for you.
You may not gossip – but sadly, the world thinks the whole of womankind does. The only way to prove the world wrong is obviously not to gossip! During your time in office, make sure that your conversations are polite, friendly and professional. Maybe you stand the risk of being branded as not sociable, but that is better than being branded a gossip- monger. Do not repeat conversations that you heard; high chances are that they will end up as Chinese whispers and transform completely from the original. While chatting with friends, make sure that you do not ask very personal questions – not everyone wants to open up to a colleague, so respect their privacy.
While at work, there are bound to be conflicts and maybe negotiations. Be assertive and manage them like a professional – all the time with the awareness that things may not to work your way all the time. Handle such instances like a professional and do not sulk. Learn to detach your emotions from your professional life and deal with failures gracefully. Remember, it is not you who won or lost – it is just the situation, and situations need not always repeat similarly.
True, you spend a major chunk of your day in office, but do not use that time to discuss your personal relationships and problems. Maybe you had an argument with your husband at breakfast, or maybe your cooking style doesn’t match with that of your mother-in-law. These are your personal problems, for which the solution lies only with you. Keeping such subjects out of the 8 hour working day will keep up your professional image in the office. We may want to discuss these problems with friends – but let’s have them out of the office.
Last but not the least, your dressing style plays a major role in earning you respect in office. It doesn’t matter if you dress Western or ethnic; dressing neatly and professionally enhances your image and is an external manifestation of your professionalism. Make sure you dress attractively, but let it not overtake your personality and take the focus off your work.
Woman at work via Shutterstock
Independent career woman, now dabbling with entrepreneurship.
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