An e-reader’s review of ‘Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It’ by Lois P. Frankel, PhD and Carol M. Frolinger, JD

Lois Frankel is a familiar name to long term Women in IP members as the author of ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office’ and ‘See Jane Lead’. Having benefited from Lois’ previous books, I was excited to read this new book that she co-authored. Plus, you have to admit the title is catchy and thought-provoking – Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It. Really?

The questions I had when I started reading the book are: what defines a “nice girl” and what exactly are they not getting? The authors have definitely anticipated that readers would have these questions because very early on answers are provided. My take on their definition of a ‘nice girl’ is someone who tends to be a people-pleaser and tends to neglect her own wishes in favour of others. A nice girl doesn’t seem to get how to reach her personal goals while living in harmony with others.

So if we’re not supposed to be nice girls, who are we suppose to be? The authors have mercifully provided the answer to this question as well. They make it clear that the goal of the book is not to teach readers to be selfish or manipulative or other “not nice” characteristics. Rather the goal of the book is to provide tools to help the reader become a “Winning Woman”. I love this term. A “Winning Woman” is someone who can strike a balance between self assertiveness and respectfulness of others.

The book is divided into 99 discrete tactics to help the reader become a Winning Woman. I admit that I flew through the first 9 tactics as I found them to be more of a roadmap of self assessment (complete with a magazine-style quiz). But the remaining 90 tactics introduce the reader to tangible, employable behavioral tools that can be used in a variety of common encounters. Each tactic is gainfully supported by examples and even, in some cases, charts and illustrations. The authors conclude each tactic by gently urging the reader into immediate action by providing concrete strategies to alter the reader’s behavior.

This book is not only intended for the career woman, but also for the stay at home mom and every woman in between. Yes, there are many specific examples dealing with bosses, colleagues, clients. But let’s face it, difficult relationships are not only found in the boardroom. Women have diverse and sometimes conflicting roles dealing with people in every aspect of life: significant others, children’s teachers, community members. This book really does provide a variety of strategies and tools for managing these varied interactions.

E-reader’s opinion: The authors have done an excellent job of introducing a multitude of strategies that represent a broad spectrum of everyday situations faced by women in our many life roles. A quick perusal of the Table of Contents will allow a reader to identify a tactic that could be useful in a particular encounter. After all, who amongst us cannot use a little help dealing with the irate neighbor… or her mother-in-law (see page 146…)? While I believe the book is most beneficial for less experienced (read: younger) women, having this book as a reference for those of us with a few battle scars is not a bad idea.

Your e-reader reviewer is Hetal Kushwaha, Liaison – International Practice, Marks & Clerk Canada. She would like to emphasize that this is just her opinion and it is not intended to represent the views of Marks & Clerk Canada.

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