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Louise Ripley

Gender Issues in Management

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power lines

Being in a position of having someone have power over us, especially if that person wields that power unfairly, can often lead to anger, and one of the biggest problems that women have with issues of power and anger is that most of us have been raised to believe it is not nice to get angry. Hence, when someone does something improper, abusive, harmful to us, we may just smile and put up with it, but inside, the anger builds, and that is tremendously unhealthy.   

Some Things to Remember About Anger
(from notes from a workshop I took through the Atkinson Counselling Centre with Professor Nina Josefewitz)

Acknowledge that you are angry and that you are entitled to be angry
Recognize that others are entitled to be angry too
Be sure you have a legitimate position from which to fight 
Be sure the fight is worth it (Choose your hill to die on)
waving hand Exercise
Choose Your Hill
This is one of the best pieces of advice I ever got from anyone, anywhere. What does it mean for a woman in management or striving to enter management to "choose your hill to die on"?
Avoid fighting personally or unfairly or when you are tired, sleepy, hungry, drunk, or unstable
Listen to the other person and try to at least understand their side
Recognize when you or someone near you is just "letting off steam"
Don't collect grievances like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter; learn to let things go
Admit you are wrong when you realize you are

One of the ways to best deal with anger is to educate yourself on the issues, and on the alternatives available to you. When we get too angry to argue, it's partly because we don't have enough information with which to fight. 

waving hand Exercise
Think of a time when you had a work-related experience of being too angry to argue well with someone who held power over you, and describe what specific knowledge might have helped if you could have prepared for the discussion ahead of time.  How might a manager have helped?
Post your answer in the Moodle Discussion Group.

Sheryl Sandberg's Book Lean In

waving hand Exercise
Sandberg Anger
How does Sheryl Sandbert's book Lean In help you further understand the topic of this unit?
Post your answer in the Moodle  Discussion Group.


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AP/ADMS/WMST3120 3.0 Gender Issues in Management
York University, Toronto
M Louise Ripley, M.B.A., Ph.D.