Friday, March 23, 2012

For Women Only in the Workplace: Book Review

Ladies, do you ever wonder why your boss just can’t seem to understand you? Are you frustrated with being cut down from all the male ego floating around the work place? Well perhaps the problem does not lie solely in their hands, and neither does it in yours. But the solution can!

In For Women Only: In the Workplace, a knowledgeable book by Shaunti Feldhahn, the male brain and its processes are broken down into female-friendly language. Feldhahn graciously shows us women what happens between the communication processes with our male counterparts. From the male’s need to respect and achieve, to the woman’s desire to control and explain, Feldhahn explains how neither side is wrong, they are just different. And it is that difference that makes all the commotion in the workplace.

Successful author of many books, Feldhahn’s “ONLY” series includes several interesting titles such as: For Parents Only, For Young Women Only, and For Men Only. Many of her books have hit the one million mark in sales, and she doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

An interesting fact about For Women Only in the Workplace, is that the book originally came out on the general market titled as The Male Factor. This book was released on The Today Show in 2010.
It is no wonder the book has done well enough to sell under two separate titles. Cover to cover, the book is filled with facts, figures, and charts that back up the years worth of research Feldhahn spent cracking this communication code.

The hard data filling this book comes naturally for Feldhahn, an ex-analyst of Wall Street, and former student of the financial arena at Capitol Hill. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s in Government and Economics from the College of William and Mary. Shaunti and her husband Jeff live in the Atlanta area with their young children, where they continue to excitingly juggle two booming businesses, life, and family together.

Now for the criticism, if you are looking at this book in hopes of receiving a spiritual awakening or conviction, I would say you might want to try a different book. Although it is marketed in the Christian world, and is targeted at Christians, this book is actually very neutral in terms of theology and faith. In fact, to be terribly honest, the only place I found biblical reference was the last chapter, (which was purposely added for Christian audiences.)

There is nothing wrong with having a spiritually neutral book; it was just not what I had expected. From what I can tell the difference between the general-market edition and the Christian edition comes down to a few interviews with ministers and Christian men. This is helpful for Christians who are reading the book, and I did find the information quite useful.

However because of my expectations, chapter 9 (the last chapter), was  my favorite part. In this chapter, Feldhahn shares Christian advice from many women she has encountered throughout her research. The women advise the readers in how to apply this book and use it biblically. This was very insightful, and I enjoyed receiving the advice. Also in this chapter, Feldhahn makes several references to the scriptural importance of applying these principles to our personal work worlds.

To sum it all up, here are the top three things I took away from this book:
     1) Men need respect. Think about this when you are asking your boss why he does things a certain way, or telling your male colleagues they need to stop doing this and that. Find a creative way to get your message across without being disrespectful.
     2) Dress as modest as possible at work. Often times women think they are dressing cute to make a statement, when in fact, they are distracting men from what they are professionally saying — thus hurting both themselves and the integrity of these men.
     3) The book does not tell us to give up every form of femininity we have. It is simply biblical to respect each other in the best way we know how. Romans 12:18 says it is our duty to be at peace with all people if we can. This book shows you how.

I highly recommend this book to any woman entering or currently in the working world. In fact, I have already passed this copy along to my friend who is an aspiring lawyer working in the state capitol right now. This book will definitely give women insight to use for success, understanding, and better communication in their careers.

For more about the book and the author, check out: the author's websitethe book's site, and The Life Ready Woman.

Article first published as Book Review: For Women Only: In the Workplace on Blogcritics.