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What You Need to Know About How Men Think at Work

Written by Shaunti FeldhahnAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Shaunti Feldhahn


List Price: $11.99


On Sale: July 19, 2011
Pages: 288 | ISBN: 978-1-60142-395-5
Published by : Multnomah Books Religion/Business/Forum
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Do You Know the Unwritten Rules of the Workplace?
As a veteran of Wall Street and Capitol Hill, Shaunti Feldhahn knows that even the most experienced Christian businesswoman can inadvertently sabotage her career simply because she doesn’t know how her male supervisors, colleagues, and employees think.
For Women Only in the Workplace gives you startling insights into the expectations and perceptions of men at work. Whether you work in a corporate setting, a small business, or a ministry, you’ll find Shaunti’s research invaluable as you discover:
· What you need to know about a man’s hidden insecurity
· What “it’s not personal, it’s just business” actually means to men
· How men view emotion in the workplace—and what they consider to be emotion
· How what you wear can significantly hinder your effectiveness at work
· The secrets to being strong and competent—without being viewed as difficult 
Based on eight years of intense research, extensive interviews, and national surveys of more than 3,000 men—from CEOs to assistants, from factory workers to lawyers—For Women Only in the Workplace gives you the keys you need to be who you are and be respected and successful wherever you work with men.

Includes a group discussion guide.



Men 101

Are you saying women don’t already know that?”

The businessman sitting next to me in first class looked at me in disbelief. I was flying home from speaking at a women’s conference, and we were only a few minutes into the usual “what do you do?” airplane conversation. Then I shared something that apparently stunned him. I had explained that I was a financial analyst by training, had worked on Wall Street, and was now, unexpectedly, an author, researcher, and speaker on relationships.

“I spent several years interviewing and surveying a few thousand men,” I explained. “My last book, For Women Only, identifies ways men think and feel that women tend not to know.” He folded his arms across his chest and chuckled. “Okay,” he said, “hit me with one.”

So I shared one of my findings about men: They need respect so much, and find inadequacy so painful, that they would give up feeling loved if they could just feel respected. When I confirmed that even the most astute women may not know that particular truth about men, his amusement turned to disbelief. “That explains something!” he said finally. “You see, I’m a corporate trainer and consultant. Fortune 100 corporations bring me in to help with leadership
and strategy at the highest levels of the organization. And all too often I see skilled and talented women sabotage their careers because they treat the men they work with in a way that no man would treat another man.” He looked at me with awakening interest. “But from what you’re telling me, these women probably don’t even realize that is what they are doing.”

I already had out my notebook and pen. “Can you give me an example?”

“I’ll give you an example of something that just happened a few hours ago.” For the next few minutes, he told me his story (which I’ll relay in a later chapter) and concluded, “I was so puzzled why this female executive would shoot herself in the foot like that! But perhaps she simply didn’t understand how her actions would be perceived by her colleagues—colleagues who were mostly men.”


After eight years of researching how men think, I’m still surprised at how much we women don’t know about men—and how much this knowledge gap is affecting us at work and at home. As Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Lang memorably put it, “The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And, because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change until we notice how our failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”

That’s why I wrote this book. I want to show you those unwritten, unspoken, but very real male expectations and perceptions (including misperceptions!) that affect us every day at work, but that we would never otherwise know. As the opening conversation reveals, even as smart, experienced women, we can find ourselves being tripped up by obstacles we don’t know are there. Or perhaps we simply aren’t as influential as we could be, or aren’t experiencing
the rewarding, positive relationships that all of us want in the workplace. Based on my nationwide surveys and interviews with thousands of men, I can tell you that those dynamics are far more common that most women realize.

Whether you put in long hours at a Fortune 500 corporation or are a part-time volunteer in a ministry environment, the eyeopening insights you’re about to encounter have the potential to transform your approach to relationships on the job. Proverbs 24 says it is correct knowledge that fills the key places in our lives with “rare and beautiful treasures”—and I think you’ll find a correct understanding of men significantly improving not only your workplace
effectiveness and influence, but also your personal fulfillment.


I first realized the need for this new understanding in 2001 when I was writing my novel The Lights of Tenth Street; trying to figure out what my main male character would be thinking so I could put thoughts in his head. Talking to male colleagues or friends, I would describe a given workplace or home-life scene in the book, and ask, “What would you be thinking if this was you in this situation?” I was often stunned at the vital importance of what the men shared—and that after years of marriage and years of work in the male-dominated finance industry, I was hearing most of it for the first time.

I began a multiyear project to investigate and write about the vital surprises that we most need to know. The first book in the series, For Women Only, focused on the personal-relationship side of things—and hit a nerve, selling one million copies in twenty different languages. Other research-based books for men, teens, and parents followed. But during that time, I continued to investigate the workplace application of the inner lives of men, eventually interviewing
and surveying more than three thousand men to get their candid impressions. I would strike up a conversation with the anonymous man next to me on the airplane or subway, or schedule interviews with high-level executives in whatever city I had a speaking engagement that week, guaranteeing anonymity in writing to ensure I heard their candid, unfiltered perceptions.

To quantify the results, over the years I also commissioned three nationally representative surveys of men of all ages, races, stages of life, and backgrounds—including one major survey specifically for the workplace—teaming up with the nationally respected companies Decision Analyst and Analytic Focus to ensure I got reliable data. (Chuck Cowan, the founder and president of Analytic Focus, and the former chief of survey design at the U.S. Census Bureau, has been my primary survey-design consultant for all my books. He explains the workplace survey’s methodology in appendix 1.) The complexity and depth of this long-term research process involved not only me but an entire team of staff researchers, specialists, and outside advisors.

The end result is this book, released in two editions that are similar in core content but different in title and audience. The primary, general-market edition is a large hardcover version titled The Male Factor. When I speak at companies like Coca-Cola or Earthlink, that is the version I bring. (Take a look at The Male Factor, or my main business-market website, www.TheMaleFactorBook.com.) But this edition, titled For Women Only in the Workplace, speaks primarily to readers looking for a Christian perspective, whether working in a secular or faith-based environment. Bonus features in
this edition include Discussion Questions for readers’ groups and an extra chapter, “Putting It in Perspective,” which provides practical insight from experienced Christian women who have navigated these issues for years. To achieve the unique perspective of this edition, and make space for the extra material, I edited, trimmed and rearranged some of The Male Factor content, judiciously edited some of the men’s quotes for space, and moved one of the chapters
(about big-picture observations from my research) to my website for this book, www.ForWomenOnlyWorkplace.com.
Shaunti Feldhahn

About Shaunti Feldhahn

Shaunti Feldhahn - For Women Only in the Workplace

Photo © Judith Brock Photography

Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of For Women Only and other books with sales of more than two million copies in 22 languages. With a master’s degree from Harvard, Shaunti uses her analytical skills to uncover life-changing surprises about our most important relationships. Her research has been featured on The Today Show, Focus on the Family radio, in Cosmopolitan magazine, and in the New York Times. She and her husband, Jeff, have two children and live in Atlanta.



Praise for For Women Only in the Workplace

The Male Factor is full of practical recommendations for women who want to maximize their impact in a workplace full of male counterparts, and is a must-read for women in leadership. If you’ve ever interacted with a male colleague, boss, or employee, and wondered, “Why did he respond that way?” this book will provide the answers.”
—Yvette Maher, vice president of Focus on the Family

“Shaunti Feldhahn has done it again! Revealing, insightful, but most of all unapologetically realistic, she shares in her latest offering, For Women Only in the Workplace, what women need to know in order to navigate through the workplace victoriously. The unwritten rules can no longer be ignored because Shaunti has spelled them out with crystal clarity. A must-read.”
— Michelle McKinney Hammond, author of What Women Don’t Know and Men Don’t Tell You

For Women Only in the Workplace is filled with practical researchbased insights on how men view women in the workplace—insights you can use immediately to reach your professional goals faster and thrive in the workplace. If you find yourself confused by how your male boss or co-workers think or act, Shaunti Feldhahn peels back the layers to help you understand what’s really going on. Candid and revealing, For Women Only in the Workplace is a wise read for
professional women.”
— Valorie Burton, author of What’s Really Holding You Back? and How Did I Get So Busy?

Praise for The Male Factor

(The general-market edition of For Women Only in the Workplace)

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 at 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 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 of Deutsch Inc.

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