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Every Woman Should Read These 6 Books Recommended By Sheryl Sandberg

Every Woman Should Read These 6 Books Recommended By Sheryl Sandberg

If you’re still looking for inspirational reads that fit in with the long book list already recommended by your BFFs, then take a look at the books Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg praised in a recent New York Times interview.

1. Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants

    Topic: If the bossypants fit, wear them!

    Tina Fey takes a critical but humorous look at her career, life, media, and motherhood. The comedian discusses the important issues women in the workplace face every day.

    Best quotation: “When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: ‘Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on.”

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    2. Conscious Business by Fred Kofman

    business


      Topic: Holding on to your ethical values in business is an advantage, not disadvantage.

      The book advocates that success can emerge naturally when we hold onto and act on ethical values. Studies prove that men in the workplace act far more unethically than female employees. Therefore, the book’s stance on the role ethics play in business taps into a natural trait of character most women share.

      Best quotation: “Have you ever driven down the highway on cruise control, engaged in a conversation or daydreaming, only to realize you missed your exit?… Relevant details, such as your location and the actions needed to reach your goal, receded from the forefront of your mind. Your eyes were open, but you didn’t see. This is a poor way to drive — and an even poorer way to live.”

      3. A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

      Happy Life
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        Topic: Women, take charge of your own lives!

        Quindlen looks at how women view themselves and their roles in society by charting some vaguely linked personal observations and encouraging women to take charge of their own lives.

        Best quotation: “You are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart.”

        4. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

        Discover

          Topic: Build on your strengths, ladies!

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          The book advises readers to concentrate on their strengths, not their weaknesses, which in the case of women in the workplace means that, instead of adopting a masculine approach to management, it is far more advantageous for women to concentrate on their own unique way of managing.

          Best quotation: “From this point of view, to avoid your strengths and to focus on your weaknesses isn’t a sign of diligent humility. It is almost irresponsible. By contrast, the most responsible, the most challenging, and, in the sense of being true to yourself, the most honorable thing to do is face up to the strength potential inherent in your talents and then find ways to realize it.”

          5. Home Game by Michael Lewis

          Michael Lewis

            Topic: Men struggle just as much while juggling parenthood and job.

            Lewis’s book takes a warts-and-all, humorous look at fatherhood from the male point of view. Women readers will recognize themselves in the struggling parent and be pleasantly surprised that men find it just as hard to juggle parenthood with workplace commitments.

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            Best quotation: “If you remembered what new parenthood was actually like you wouldn’t go around lying to people about how wonderful it is, and you certainly wouldn’t ever do it twice.”

            6. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

            The lean startup

              Topic: Startups don’t fit into conventional concepts of management methods.

              Ries’s book serves as a guide for starting up a business on a tiny budget. His advice will particularly resonate with female readers, who often yearn for, but don’t realize their dream of starting up a business.

              Best quotation: “The first problem is the allure of a good plan, a solid strategy, and thorough market research… The overwhelming temptation is to apply them to startups too, but this doesn’t work, because startups operate with too much uncertainty. Startups do not yet know who their customer is or what their product should be… The old management methods are not up to the task.”

              Featured photo credit: Reading Glasses On Book With Hot Tea Drink via stokpic.com

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              Last Updated on August 12, 2020

              When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

              When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

              Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

              In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

              How to Listen to Your Gut

              The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

              Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

              1. Tune Into Your Body

              Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

              However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

              Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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              Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

              In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

              2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

              Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

              There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

              3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

              Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

              As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

              This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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              4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

              As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

              Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

              5. Challenge Your Assumptions

              When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

              In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

              A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

              6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

              Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

              There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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              Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

              Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

              Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

              We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

              The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

              We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

              7. Trust Yourself

              It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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              Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

              If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

              The Bottom Line

              The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

              Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

              More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

              Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
              [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
              [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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