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Book Review: Pushback | Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency, Inc.

Book Review: Pushback

As seen on blog.timesunion.com:

Stand Your Ground

Learn to get not just what you need, but what you want

October 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm by TU Magazines

By Brianna Snyder/Women@Work

“If there was ever a time for women to push back, it’s now,” writes Selena Rezvani in Pushback: How Smart Women Ask — and Stand Up — for What They Want. Rezvani, a business columnist, commentator and writer for the Washington Post, NPR and Forbes, gives it to us straight: Women are too nice, and nice girls finish last.

“We’re the largest, most bankable talent pipeline: women make up more than half of the U.S. labor force,” she writes. But, “Despite some of our gains, women continue to make up a meager portion of senior leaders in government, business, and even in those fields that are female dominated.”

Why and how can this be? Rezvani notes women have finely honed negotiation skills in all domestic areas of our lives — bill-paying, child-rearing, husband-handling — but when it comes time to assert ourselves in our jobs, we balk. We’ve been socialized to wait for our good work to be recognized of its own virtue, rather than tapping our bosses on the shoulder and letting them know about our successes. At a speaking engagement for women in business, Rezvani asked who in the room counter-offered when negotiating their current salaries; only about 10 percent raised their hands.

Pushback aims to be both a guide and a tool of advocacy for women in the workplace. It includes grids, guides and bullet points for women unsure of how to market themselves competitively, especially among men. “There are circumstances nearly every day, in every area of life, where we can and need to push back — to articulate, advocate for, and hold out for what we want and what is ours,” she writes. “This ability is the foundation for professional success and fulfillment.”

Instant Recall:

  • Take risks. You can’t please everyone all the time, so don’t even try. It might make your pulse race, but stand up for the thing you believe in, even when no one else is backing you.
  • Know your power. “Before any negotiation, ask yourself where and how you have leverage. Whether your leverage is your experience, tenure, skills, book of business or client base, education, or a combination of these factors, you can’t convey confidence without knowing your power.”
  • Sometimes you’ll lose a negotiation. Grow a thick skin, and think of that thick skin “in terms of adaptability.” “Adaptability means putting your attention where it’s needed — on what you can influence — rather than wasting time stuck in the past.”

Notable Quote:
“Come be a part of asking for what you want and need — in fact, be a leader.”

Read this book if:
You’re a businesswoman whose needs and desires in her career aren’t being met.

Pushback: How Smart Women Ask — and Stand Up — for What They Want, by Selena Rezvani, Jossey-Bass, 209 pp, $26.95