They Don't Get It, Do They?: Communication in the Workplace-Closing the Gap Between Women and Men

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9780316736411: They Don't Get It, Do They?: Communication in the Workplace-Closing the Gap Between Women and Men

Two decades after the publication of They Don't Get It, Do They?, much less has changed for women seeking equal opportunity and pay at work than they ever expected. In this book, Kathleen Kelley Reardon Ph.D., the author of The Secret HandshakeIt's All Politics and Comebacks at Work, turns her extraordinary observational skills toward obstacles to women's advancement. Author of such Harvard Business Review articles as "The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk" and "Courage as a Skill," Reardon fills her book with scores of real-life examples. They Don't Get It, Do They? shows how to identify, understand and overcome the hidden subtexts of business conversations. Men and women speak different languages at work but different shouldn't mean better or worse, Reardon argues. Yet history shows that those distinctions are made every day in organizations around the world, where women continue to be poorly represented at the top and significantly underpaid in most fields and at nearly every level. Through hundreds of interviews and her own extensive experience in business, Reardon has produced an insightful examination of the gender communication rift. She explores how differing perceptions -- as well as realistic concerns that men have of women taking their jobs -- perpetuate a chasm between the sexes. Following Reardon's empowering advice, women can learn to develop a language that bridges the divide without requiring that they mimic men or sacrifice the benefits of their personal styles. Communication, it turns out, is the hard stuff of business and Kathleen Kelley Reardon's books are at the forefront of exploring the complexities so many of us don't notice. This is your chance to learn why we're all at least 75% responsible for the way we're treated at work and what that means for women in terms of turning things around for the better.

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From the Inside Flap:

Does this conversation seem familiar?Janet:  I felt left out of the planning of this project, Fred.Fred:  Now, Janet, let's not make this a personal thing.  Frank, Bill and I happened to run into each other, so we got some work done.Janet:  But I'm on the planning team.  You could have run it by me.Fred:  You shouldn't waste your energy on this, Janet.  It's nothing.  Don't feel bad.Janet:  It's happened several times.Fred:  Getting a little paranoid, aren't we?Janet:  I just want to be kept informed.Fred:  Okay, Janet.  Okay.  It's no big deal.It might be funny if it weren't so real.  When Kathleen Kelley Reardon asks the rhetorical question They Don't Get It, Do They?, working women react with recognition and relief.  They get it.Every day, every woman who heads for the office faces the reality of the communication gap.  It exists whenever a man's comment makes a woman defensive, and whenever a woman unconsciously casts herself in a subordinate role to a male colleague.  Many men haven't learned to define women in terms of their achievement, pigeonholing them instead as wife, daughter, mother, secretary.  Women have their own set of myths: it pays to be a good, quiet little worker; so don't make waves.  Inadequate communication and fear of challenging the status quo hold women back.  Kathleen Reardon's mission is to explain what women -- and men -- can do about it.They Don't Get It, Do They? is incisive and practical, based on the experiences of hundreds of working women and filled with telling real-life examples.  It is an essential handbook on the different perceptions, objectives, statements and body language that open up the chasm between the sexes at work.  Women don't have to become men, but they must learn how to respond to the hidden subtext of professional interactions to advance their careers -- and claim their rightful place in American business.

From the Back Cover:

For women in power, aggressive business tactics are often labeled "pushy" and a hard-driving style is frequently dismissed as "bitchiness."  If these degrading terms sound familiar, it's because they are common products of the communication gap between men and women in the workplace.They Don't Get It, Do They? explains how to close that gap.  Using dozens of real-life examples, Kathleen Kelley Reardon shows how to identify, understand, and overcome the hidden subtexts of business conversations.  By following her savvy, empowering advice, women will be able to advance their careers -- and ultimately claim their rightful place at the top.Kathleen Kelley Reardon is an associate professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California Business School.  She lives in Santa Monica, California.

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