Monday, November 29, 2010

The male factor: The unwritten rules, misperceptions, and secret beliefs of men in the workplace

Book Club... And Then Some!

The male factor: The unwritten rules, misperceptions, and secret beliefs of men in the workplace   


by Shaunti Feldhahn

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

The bottom line of Feldhahn’s 308-page book is: be aware of your workplace behavior and how it might be perceived.  

Feldhahn is a bestselling author (her books have sold two million copies and have been translated into fifteen different languages copies).  Two of her other books are called For Women Only and For Men Only. She is a nationally syndicated columnist and holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University (from the back flyleaf).

Since I am not a woman in the workplace, I wanted to see how women perceive Feldhahn’s book.  Here is what I came up with:

V. Blankenship writes, “As a woman living in a house full of men, husband and 5 sons, and just entering the workforce for the first time in 20 years, I was completely enthralled by this book. Shaunti Feldhahn definitely gets into the male psyche and reveals things that all women need to know, especially women in the workforce today. Its an eye opening, thought provoking read that really makes you think twice about the male/female relationship in the public work place today.”

Kimberly Martinez, of Seattle, WA, writes the following: “This book is not just terrific, it was incredibly needed. Most of us want to be the best we can be at what God has called us to - sometimes we need new tools. Many years ago, there was a book - Mars and Venus in the Workplace. It kind of did what this book does, but it was written by a man.

“Shaunti has done so much empirical research in order to put this book together. If you ever wanted to know what men really think, this book will tell you. Better than that, this book will give you the tools to help men hear what you are really trying to say without any male/female cultural noise messing up the communication loop. “

Connie Y. Mishali, writes, “Shaunti Feldhahn has done a lot of research to get inside the male psyche to figure out what men think and feel in the workplace, what unwritten codes of conduct they live by, how they perceive women in general and their actions in the workplace, and what women can and should do in order to succeed in their careers.

“The information Shaunti has compiled is sometimes surprising, sometimes almost unbelievable, and always helpful! This book is a must-read for every career or business-minded woman. Incidentally, its insights will also help you with your marriage and friendships because you will have a greater understanding of what men experience at work.”

J. Guyer writes, “This is a valuable book for woman in the workplace. Based on surveys and interviews with men about the unwritten rules and expectations that rule the business world, it gives women a tool to better navigate what can seem like a foreign culture. The insights learned from this book can also be eye opening and helpful for women in general in understanding how men think and view women and the world. The Christian version offers a chapter on applying these findings with a Biblical world view toward interacting with others.”

Most of the reviews were favorable.  A number of reviewers pointed out the length of the book (said it could be shorter), and some noted, too, that it read like a textbook and was difficult to get through.  I found it a bit long, but the research used is interesting, the insights were useful (especially for those new in the business world or for those planning to go into the business world), and the viewpoints are valuable for both males and females.  I became a bit tired of reading this book, but that is why I chose to quote so many reviews above — since I am not in business, have never been in business, and have no plans to go into business.  Those facts can make a difference in how easy this book is to navigate.

This book is available from The male factor: The unwritten rules, misperceptions, and secret beliefs of men in the workplace. 

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