just procrastinating

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Workplace Influence
Good article in the post this morning about what has been going on in the Apprentice, which I mentioned a couple of times. The article talks about using sexuality to get ahead:
A few months ago, a client came to Frankel and said she was excited because she was able to get a man in her office to do something she wanted to move a project ahead. "I charmed the pants off him," she crowed to Frankel. Right away, the red flags went up.

"I knew she had misjudged it," Frankel said.

And she had. Recently this woman came back to Frankel. She was in big trouble. The man she "charmed the pants off" did what she wanted. But he also read right through her. When it came time to talk to her boss, the man did. And he told the boss this woman was overly flirtatious, inappropriate and unprofessional. That got around to others in the company. Now colleagues have also lost respect for her.

The woman told Frankel her "strategy" backfired. Well, charming the pants off someone, alone, is not a strategy. As with the "Apprentice" women, it is not a true strategy if it works just once. (Are they going to get wasted on shots every night at the bar? I don't think so.)
This is a good point, especially if you have to work with someone in the future. However if you are a salesperson and you don't have to have a follow up relationship, you could probably get with this.

The dynamic at work is certainly different for men and women. The other day at the office I was in a meeting room with 3 other guys and one of our cuter female colleagues came in and asked if anyone had a change for a five. All four of us stopped what we were doing and made some effort to check to see if we did, by going through our pockets and wallets, etc. One guy ended up going back to his desk for it. Now I know if I had walked in, and asked the same thing, I might have gotten a half-hearted effort to look, if not an outright "nope, sorry". So even when they aren't overtly trying to use their sexuality, attractive women benefit from a certain eagerness to please, that probably translates into better performance.

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