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Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers (A Nice Girls Book)
Narrated by: Lois P. Frankel
Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

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Summary

The New York Times bestseller, which for 10 years has been a must-have for women in business, is now completely revised and updated. In this new edition, internationally recognized executive coach Lois P. Frankel reveals a distinctive set of behaviors-over 130 in all-that women learn in girlhood that ultimately sabotage them as adults. She teaches you how to eliminate these unconscious mistakes that could be holding you back and offers invaluable coaching tips that can easily be incorporated into your social and business skills. The results for hundreds of thousands of women have been career opportunities they never thought possible - at every stage of their career, from entry-level to the corner office! Stop making "nice girl" errors that can become career pitfalls, such as:

  • Mistake #13: Avoiding office politics.
  • If you don't play the game, you can't possibly win.
  • Mistake #21: Multi-tasking.
  • Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do it.
  • Mistake #54: Failure to negotiate.
  • Don't equate negotiation with confrontation.
  • Mistake #70: Inappropriate use of social media.
  • Once it's out there, it's hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
  • Mistake #82: Asking permission. Children, not adults, ask for approval. Be direct, be confident.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying referenc4e material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2013 Lois P. Frankel (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"This audiobook is filled with something you or one of your friends do every day…A simple, quick guide to presenting ourselves as the strong and bold women we are." (Gail Evans, author of She Wins, You Win and Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman)
"Any woman intent on getting ahead in the corporate world should listen to this book. It's a fascinating crash course in image, influence, and communication, from an accomplished and insightful coach. Terrific stuff!" (Anne Fisher, senior writer, Fortune, and "Ask Annie" career columnist, CNNmoney.com)

What listeners say about Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

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A Dated White Feminist Manifesto

This book is probably most relevant to women 45+ who are middle-management or above, who are already in traditional corporate environments and at a certain level of income. The way it is written and the suggestions provided don't feel relevant to my life at all. In fact, it often made me feel bad about myself and my achievements.

The attitude to men and women is essentialising and dated. It is full of references to 'real women.' And it doesn't take into account the way in which younger men and most corporate environments today at least pay lip service to women's equality while allowing sexism to go underground or take on more insidious forms, making it far harder to address or work around.

The fundamental message of moving beyond what young women are taught about being 'a nice girl' is great. There are sprouts of really strong material around improving communication learned in childhood, definitely. But the structure of the book (a giant listicle) doesn't go in depth about any one, and there are better resources for this.

The text employs a critical tone throughout (here's everything you are doing wrong wrong wrong you silly girl *eyeroll*) that is not the most constructive investment of your time.

More dangerously, however, the negative, dismissive tone toward 'girls' reinforces negative stereotypes about women in the workplace that are hurtful to women as a whole, even if you've managed to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Frankel says repeatedly that we have to accept the existence of double standards and that we need to work with them. Fine. But do we need to blithely treat 'girls' in the workplace as badly as men historically have? What about all the women who Frankel describes as being stuck in the 'women's ghetto' of secretaries and administrators? The attitude is 'are you a goddess who people will do things for, or are you the one who does things for the goddesses?' This is regressive and unconstructive. Some women might feel great about feeling like they have somehow escaped the fate of the helpers and then use those silly 'girls' to support their work without thinking twice about how destructive that structure is. I don't. Why not talk about how such women can move out of the cycle, rather than just advising avoiding getting sucked into it at any cost? And about things that senior women (and men!) can do to support women in those situations? What about people who have taken those kinds of jobs because there was rent to pay in the recession-era job market and they were promised opportunities for advancement that then never appeared, then found themselves stuck? How about providing a toolbox, rather than dismissing those people as failures doomed to serve others? Instead, Frankel gives the impression that she is self-obsessed and unethical, that she doesn't care if it's your head she uses as a step on her way to the top. It's all a game we need to play to win, after all.

Some of the advice assumes the reader is a relatively high earner and some is so painfully obvious that it's insulting. Frankel cites Virginia Woolf and A Room of One's Own as advice to get your own bank account and your own cushion of money so you don't have to stay in bad jobs, as well as a bunch of retirement planning suggestions. The advice is so obvious that it doesn't need to be written down. And it's great for those who earn a good income and are choosing between having a holiday or depositing savings, but what about those who are barely making rent every month, for whatever reason? This is a genuine opportunity for Frankel to help women who feel stuck to plan an escape or secure their futures. But top-earners only matter. Those silly girls in the women's ghetto can just take the hand they are dealt.

If you want a book packed with gems like 'get an expensive haircut' or 'hair should get shorter as you get older' or 'don't let your grey show' or 'don't get a visible tattoo' or 'buy this list of clothes and get it all tailored' then this is the book for you. Most of us have grown up having these ideas fed to us in the media or by our parents and don't need to buy a book to tell us this crap again. Frankel couches all these suggestions in terms of accepting and working with social expectations of women, saying that women are mistrusted if their appearance doesn't align with social expectations because it creates cognitive dissonance. We all know this. We can choose to comply or not. We can also consider ways of founding, building or changing our companies so that these expectations don't become prisons of gender stereotypes. What we don't need in 2017 is a corporate, literary version of Cosmopolitan magazine, telling women how to comply with men's expectations of women at work.

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Wouldn't recommend

I found this book so negative and old fashioned. if you want something modern and empowering download "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero, or "Becoming" by Michelle O'Bama or "Girl Boss"

1 person found this helpful

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Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office

It has been a wonderful journey reflecting on my behaviour and where I need improvement

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Some nuggets

I disagree with some aspects of this book and find aspects of it outdated but can also relate to others. Wow we collectively make a lot of mistakes... I got bored half way through so started being more selective in which chapters I listened to. My suggestion is extract what you need and leave the rest?

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would give minus stars if possible!

this was going well when talking about behaviours but at around point 100, she started talking about appearance. this was absolute out dated sexist nonsense. she actually advises not wearing any make up stops your career progression, as will grey hair. utterly disgusting.

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Pursuit of perfect woman in the workplace.

This book makes me wonder if the good is the evil and the evil is good. Generally good advices, some dont understand.

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eye opening

I was surprised at how much of this I could relate to, I'd like to think that in 2020 we wouldn't need such guidance, but it was really eye opening for me. I am now far more aware and observant of the unconscious mistakes I and other woman in my organisation make. I would be really interested in a revised addition, as I feel some subjects while completely relevant at the time of publishing were accurate, are now a little out dated: the approach to social media for example.

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Excellent!

Fantastic book! I really enjoyed the practical tips and advice in this book. Having recently moved into a senior leadership role, this contained some excellent ideas to help in my day to day role and was easy to apply practically. While here are one or two aspects that I slightly disagreed with, the overall content of this book was superb and I have recommended it to several friends. Will listen to it again!

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great listen!

loved it, brutally honest at times but we need to hear it and i appritiated that gift!

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Different view on how Women are supposed to behave

I will take some advice from it because it gives a few good tips however the part about 'long hair', 'tattoos' and 'dress code' is definitely dated. I have very long hair, a few tattoos and I am the youngest manager in my division so far. Looks is important but as long as you are clean and subtly elegant it doesn't really matter what colour you wear or how you brush your hair....

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  • Ray
  • 28-08-15

Hidden Gem-A Must for Women Who Want to Excel

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have been recommending this book to any woman who I feel has what it takes or has an interest in excelling in the business world. I can't say enough good things about it.

One thing that should be noted, is that Lois acknowledges the significant shaft that women of color experience vs white women. This is important because it shows how she can view situations objectively-which adds to her credibility. In my experience, it's rare to come across a white woman who can see and relate to our added challenges.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office?

The author said avoiding office politics was a mistake. For years, I have been trying to avoid the politics because I thought I was above it, and I thought it was the "right" thing to do. My mistake.

Have you listened to any of Lois P. Frankel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. N/A.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was a bit overstimulated. In the beginning, the author goes over some appalling statistics. After the initial shock and anger, I continued on. She discusses the unconscious mistakes that women make in the workplace-and she offers coaching tips. I feel like Lois is my personal career coach. A light bulb went off with this one.

Any additional comments?

I almost didn't make the purchase because I pretty much hate the color pink (it's been forced on me all my life) and I didn't like the title. I debated between this book and How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I thought I needed something more tailored to me-a woman. So, after reading the reviews, I decided to purchase Nice Girls. I am so glad I did.

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  • Michelle
  • 15-12-18

Listen with a critical ear

Wow. So I will admit she makes a lot of good points. She brings attention to many subtle behaviours like body posture, eye contact, the fact that women don’t like to use the armrests in favour of « taking up less space », and how that comes construed as feeling like you don’t have much right to be there. Although a bit picky, I do see where she is coming from. But more than half the time I was thinking to myself that she...sort of hates women. She lists over 100 « mistakes » that women make in professional settings; again some of these are valid things to pay attention to, but others it’s like she’s just shaming naturally feminine behaviour. She treats traditional, ladylike behaviour as a weakness and a liability almost, and describes how one should mirror a man’s more « powerful masculine » approach instead. Newsflash to the author: men and women are inherently different. And yes, our business world still has a long way to go to be truly « equal » to both sexes. But blaming the victim and simply trying to turn women into men is not the answer.
Some of the things she went on for awhile about that I disagreed with: Don’t tuck your foot behind your ankle when you sit, because a man doesn’t do that. (Sitting that way actually shows etiquette as a lady, but she treats it as weakness). Don’t bring baked goods to the office because you will be taken less seriously for showing your nurturing side. Don’t ask for any accommodations at work while pregnant. Don’t dress in a feminine style (even conservatively), just wear a pants suit like a man. If you have visible tattoos, you have made a terrible life decision (according to her) and you deserve to suffer through the heat to cover up with long sleeves. Also try not to report sexual harassment because it will reflect badly on you. Oftentimes her tone is very abrasive and many statements extreme. From one sentence to the next, I alternated between feeling like I learned something noteworthy and just thinking she was crazy and very anti-women. Listen critically.

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  • Megasaurus
  • 13-09-14

Recovering Nice Girl

Would you listen to Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office again? Why?

I would absolutely listen to this again because its chalked full of tips and advice that apply to so many different situations a woman finds herself in at work.

What other book might you compare Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office to and why?

I thought a lot about The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman when I listened to this. While that book explores the problems women face with confidence, this book shows you how to address and conquer those problems in the workplace.

What about Lois P. Frankel’s performance did you like?

Strong confident narration - It felt like getting a pep talk from a well respected, no-nonsense mentor.

Any additional comments?

I had an epiphany-like moment over and over again when Frankel points out that when people shame a woman for unladylike behavior, it's not because there is such a shameful thing as unladylike behavior, it's because it's the easiest and most effective means of getting whatever it is they want out of you.

Because we've been so conditioned to be pleasing to others, accusing a woman of behaving in an unpleasing manner is like an automatic shut off button that manipulative people use against us. Accusations and implications of this manner have no basis in reality, it's just a means of shutting us up and keeping us out.

I'd downloaded several other career advice audiobooks before this one, as I was looking for career advice because I'm a new grad starting my first corporate job. I found the other new grad career advice books rather trite and unhelpful. I was hesitant about this purchase because I wasn't worried about snagging the "corner office," so much as just getting started, but I am so glad I found this gem as I begin my journey through the corporate world.

I'm so impressed with the book I intend on buying copies for female friends as graduation presents. I also loved that Frankel recommends a plethora of other resources and career coaching books throughout. She is a generous author who never fails to cite and recommend her influences, a rare skill in a world of self-promotional and narcissistic branding.

This was one of my favorite audible experiences. Highly Recommended!

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  • AKN
  • 22-10-18

Male behavior is the problem

While there were tidbits of valuable guidance, overall I found the advice to be steeped in sexism. Would anyone ever ask a man to wear makeup? Never! The notion that women must make their appearance pleasing to the men in power is exactly what’s wrong with how woman are treated and viewed in the workplace. We are not objects for you to look at. This BS that is mascaraed as coaching is nothing more than an attempt to push women shift their behavior because men aren’t willing to shift their own.

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  • Alicia
  • 25-09-18

Great Framework--some bias

The overall message of this book is great--women need to take proactive measures to reduce learned behaviors that will stand in their way of achieving success. This book clearly give specific examples how to overcome various obstacles from "apologizing too much" to "not dressing the part".

My one hang-up with this book was that the writer seemed to bring a little too much personal preference into the book. One example is she suggests women should consider cutting their hair shorter, as more successful women have shorter hair. The "Fortune's most Powerful Women" just came out for 2018, and it is pretty equal between short and long hair among the 50 women. I think this is a personal bias she brings in from past years or from her own personal style. There were a few other examples like this throughout the book that get a little too nit picky, but do not take away from the overall message.

I would still recommend to anyone looking to advance their career!

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  • am
  • 05-06-18

Get your powersuit and 1980s Gurl Power

TL;DR - be confident, play to your strengths, read the room (or office in this case), use critical thinking, maintain professionalism and be goal oriented. Dont give into bullies or play their games. Learn strategy and apply it to your life.

If you read the above, you dont need the book.

The narrator has a lovely voice and was pleasant to listen to.

The tone of the book is outdated, which is sad considering its only 4 years old, feels like a womens empowerment book from the 1980s. Author contradicts herself through out the book while trying to make her points. Most glaryingly obvious is her consistent comparison of men vs women, then stating how the presumed reader is not a man and should act like a woman, but not too much. The duality posed by the author seems to be pitting men and women against eachother. So much man hate and personal feeling. She takes sucker punches at the supposed patriarchy. I do agree women are raised differently from men and that, that reflects in adult behaviors. Its common knowledge at this point that men and women are different and approach work and the office environment differently. Its also common knowledge the office space is heavily geared toward men, so is the rest of the world. However the way inwhich this is all pointed out gives the air of patronizing the reader. Especially when she keeps calling the reader a "nice little girl" and telling them to grow up into a woman. ok thanks. The world has changed, its not as simple as women not being allowed in the boys club. We have so many other communities fighting for equal pay, respect and rights in the work place, and promotion options that its no longer a black and white issue. The author does nothing to address the plight of immigrant employees or LGBTQ individuals. She barely touches on the fact African American women struggle harder to succeed due to old stigmas and racism. The fact she continually tries to turn it into a two sided problem is belitting the issue. Im struggling to finish this book. But this author needs to reevaluate how she precieves the world and self. Her advice stems from a different generation and different time, its very clear she hasnt updated herself or views since the shoulder pads and powersuit era.

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  • Lauren Farmer
  • 04-03-20

She’s so off base for the modern world

In one part of her book she says “your hair should not be too long. Each year at your company your hair should get shorter.” Like what...

Now she’s talking about accessories and wearing “playful pins..”

These are not the issues we need addressed. She’s in the last century.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Britni
  • 07-02-20

The Updates Version is Already Dated

Before buying this book I read a review that said that the author was very judgmental and hated women. After listening to it, I don't think that is the case. I think she's just out of touch with modern offices. Some of her advice is timeless, but a lot of it is reallly dated. There is a section on accessories where she goes into a ton of detail about pins. Has anyone worn a pin on their blouse in 20 years?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lissa.frank
  • 08-10-19

Trash

She just tells you to act like a man, which is stupid! Women should embrace what makes them unique. Leverage all of it!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-07-19

Stupid Book

I was hopi g this book would at least be entertaining, but it was was dumb. I hope there aren’t really wen out there that have this low of self esteem and actual need to listen to this. Waste of an Audible credit.

3 people found this helpful