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Ladies where’s your boss at: Rules for Women Bosses

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Academic and humorist, Regina “Gina” Barreca is back with another must read article.  In her latest article in, The Courant, the  English literature and feminist theorist, gives ” Rules for Women Bosses.” Ladies, if you are a boss chick or have ambitions to be a boss chick, this article is a must read!

Barreca lists the following as “Rules for Women Bosses:”

1. Take a deep breath, doll, because you’ll have to embody enthusiasm, authority and confidence all the time. Being a boss is playing a role and, if you’re the principal player, a great deal rests on your ability to stay in character. Part of what you forfeit when you assume the position of leader is your right to display weakness or expect sympathy. No matter how exhausted, frustrated or anxious might feel, you can’t show it. Why? Because nobody feels safe trusting a weak leader. Remember, too, that nobody ever feels sorry for the boss (and then only if there’s a really good dental plan).

2. Robert Frost’s dictum that good fences make good neighbors translates to “clear boundaries make good colleagues.” Emotional space makes workplace relationships more efficient and, paradoxically, more congenial. You need to compartmentalize the personal and the professional, keeping a consistent and fair policy in place. Unless you expect your siblings to file W-9 forms, the people you work with are not like family.

3. Women too often feel we’re being unfair when we’re being fair. For example, if employees can’t use cellphones during work hours, then that rule applies to everyone: those who have boyfriends they don’t trust, girlfriends who don’t trust them, kids who will never know what the word trust means and ones doing brilliantly at “Pet Rescue Saga.” You’re not being unfair to an employee who wants to be made an exception if you say, “no.” You are being fair. Learn to shrug off guilt you don’t deserve.

4. Careless habits are as contagious as the flu and spread just about as fast. Guard against the transmission of carelessness, laziness and inefficiency by catching them early and making sure whoever has them cleans up their act thoroughly. Make no mistake: over time, these small and almost invisible toxins can poison the atmosphere. Make sure there is, in equal amounts, enough light (attention), air (clarity) and running water (communication) to keep everyone healthy.

5. You shouldn’t seek to be loved by those who work for you. You should aim for their respect and admiration.

6. Remember that while it’s impossible to be everybody’s friend, it is possible to be everybody’s best boss every day. Make that your ambition.


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