The Male Factor
The Unwritten Rules, Misperceptions, and Secret Beliefs of Men in the Workplace
By: Shaunti Feldhahn
Based on a nationwide survey and confidential interviews with more than three thousand men, bestselling author of For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn, has written a startling and unprecedented exploration of how men in the workplace tend to think, which even the most astute women might otherwise miss. In The Male Factor, Feldhahn investigates and quantifies the private thoughts that men almost never publicly reveal or admit to, but that every woman will want to know.
Never before has an author gotten inside the hearts and minds of men in the workplace—from CEOs to managers, from lawyers to factory workers—to get a comprehensive and confidential picture of what men commonly think about their female colleagues, how they view flextime and equal compensation, what their expected “rules” of the workplace are, what managing emotion means, and how that low cut top is perceived. Because the men in the surveys and interviews were guaranteed anonymity, they talk in a candid and uncensored way about their daily interactions with women bosses, employees, and colleagues, as well as what they see as the most common forces of friction and misunderstanding between men and women at work.
Among the subjects The Male Factor tackles are:
- How men, with rare exception, view almost any emotional display as a sign that the person can no longer think clearly—as well as what they perceive to be “emotion” in the first place (it’s not just crying)
- Why certain trendy clothes that women wear may create a career-sabotaging land mine in terms of how male colleagues perceive them
- The unintentional signals that can change a man’s perception of a woman from “assertive and competent” to “difficult”
Women will likely be surprised, even shocked, by these revelations. Some may find them challenging. Yet what they will gain is an invaluable understanding of how their male bosses, colleagues, subordinates, and customers react to a host of situations—as well as the ability to correct common misperceptions. The Male Factor offers a unique road map to what men in the workplace are thinking, allowing women the opportunity to decide for themselves how to use the insights Feldhahn reveals.
The Male Factor is the singularly best business book for women I’ve read in years. This well-researched yet thoroughly readable book is rich with rare insights into how men really see women in the workplace—and how with a few simple adjustments you can even the playing field.
— Lois P. Frankel, PhD, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and See Jane Lead
Many times in my career I’ve been the only female in a meeting or holding a seat on the executive team, and I felt I needed a translator—either to understand my male colleagues or to make sure they understood me! The Male Factor provides that translation! We no longer have to guess at what ‘makes men tick’ in the workplace. Shaunti Feldhahn asked them, and amazingly, they told her!
— Stacie Hagan, Chief People Officer, Earthlink, Inc.
Smart, effective communication is what makes for successful leadership and productive workplaces. The Male Factor sheds light on how subtle and not-so-subtle gender communication differences can thwart a woman’s rise in the workplace. Even minor shifts in the communication approach can help women navigate and break through that invisible barrier. There is something here for every woman, no matter where you are in your career.
— Linda Sawyer, CEO, Deutsch Inc.
Career women have been looking for the next big business book, and this is it! Finally, the real, not sugar coated, deal on what men are really thinking, in a format we can use to make us even more successful and effective-in business and in life. Shaunti delivers the road map to help you be much more effective, make more money and stop the guessing game of trying to figure out what the guys are really thinking. Some of this truth may hurt, but now at least you can really do something about it!
— Genevieve Bos, co-founder of PINK Magazine, and Global Connector of People and Ideas