I was guilty of it… In my early years when I started working I was wearing the mask of “The Geisha”, I wanted to prove my abilities and thought if I take all the work they will see what I am capable of. Later, I started to wear the mask of “The Bitch”, as I had no idea how to deal with condescending and denigrating behaviour and wanted to show that they could not pull it off with me. Now, many years and lessons later, the only mask I wear is my own face! I learned by being myself and building a good reputation of trust and reliability, I am respected for who I am.
After reading the book of Christopher Flett; “What men don’t tell women about business” My fingers started itching to write a blog about the different masks he described, I just added two more. The way we are perceived and the way we act is one and the same. We put our BITCH mask on or our MAN mask, we are the GEISHA at work or act like the SLUT/FLIRTER. I share with you the 7 mask women wear at work.
1. The Bitch
Yes, the Bitch, we all know her and all have worked with her. What is the Bitch Mask? It’s the woman who believes by being harsh and using an attacking way in a conversation or in doing business that people will value her and respect her… She puts this Bitch mask on with the thought that people will not undermine her or talk condescendingly to her.
2. The Geisha
The woman under this particular mask feels that if she helps everyone and aids to everyone’s needs that they will think she is irreplaceable. You know her, right? She is the one you dump your work on that you find boring or just because you know she will do it. She is the one that will say yes and amen to everyone in the office.
3. The Slut/the Flirter
We have seen her come out often on Christmas parties or Friday evening drinks. The one that gets too lose when she has a drink or two and sits on the lap of her college or dives into a corner with him. We also know her as the one that believes flirting will help her in a business setting and will use it whenever she thinks it will benefit her.
4. The Man
The woman who believes she needs to act like a man to be respected and valued for her capabilities. The one who talks about sports (which she is not interested in) drinks beers, just to be one of the boys. And…the one who keeps the inappropriate jokes alive, as she laughs with them (with pain) instead of letting them know it’s not appreciated at all.
5. The Mother
The mommy, oh we all had a mommy at the office, the one who gets coffee, has medicine if you have the flue, has tips for your household, walks around with birthday cards to be signed, plans the office party and so on. The mommy who forgets that at the office she isn’t one.
6. The Victim
This particular woman never blames herself for anything, instead, she is blaming everybody else. She is the one that will come to you after SHE did something wrong and will try to get you on her side. She complains and cries openly…at a business setting…how uncomfortable… She dedicates her time to complaining instead of working and is bound to suck the energy out of you.
7. The gossiper
This one I call her the newspaper, why? Because I have never seen a headline moved around so quickly as the gossiper can. She never keeps a secret and if you tell her something you’re bound to hear it within 5 minutes from someone else. Shame, we already have a reputation for not being able to keep our mouth shut. She shares who slept with who, who got fired, who is crying in the bathroom stall, who got angry and so on…. nothing to be proud of.
My advise? Always be yourself! And bring in business for your company (at the end it’s all about the money), build your reputation so people know that you are to be trusted and that you are reliable to do business with. And lastly ladies…this is our era! The way business is done nowadays is the way we have always worked and we are good at it! Use it to your advantage.