So ladies, I was just told for the 2nd time this year that I come off too intense for the male middle mgmt team that works for me. Both by diff male bossesHave u been told this before? How do u deal?

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I get this comment too. Could it be a regional / cultural thing and maybe not a man / woman thing? I’m an East Coaster living in the Midwest. My style is direct and transparent and it doesn’t play well sometimes, esp with people who don’t know me well

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Some of the best advice I got on managing that 'intensity' level was to: slow down my walk pace, slow down my speech just a tad, lower my volume just a bit, and work on open body language. Not easy, but it has worked! That said, no way I'd cover like this and not at least document, with an eye toward future corrective feedback.

likesmart

Is the frustration w the guys not pulling their part coming off in your tone? I’ve always found women focus more on getting everything right where men focus better on reading the room and building a relationship (shifting the conversation as needed to keep client happy).

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Don’t change. Strong women are often considered intense, Direct or bitchy. As a senior woman here, I advise you do you. And if they can’t handle it, too bad. As long as you are fair and not abusive, you be you. I’ve been told this many times and I allow others to either leave if they can’t handle it or appreciate my strength. And it has not held me back at all

likeuplifting

I’m speaking from my experience. I see women always trying to prove themselves and show they have the technical knowledge or do things by the book. The male leaders will pick and chose to navigate the relationship of the client - I’m not talking about nurturing, I’m talking about being people/politically savvy and strategic, reading the room, etc.

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D1- women do have to prove themselves more. The number of times I have been told my male counterpart knows what he is doing when he has less experience is astounding. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I pick my battles as I don’t always need everyone to know what I know- but the smart ones figure it out pretty quickly. Meanwhile, I have other males in my org who just don’t get it-and can’t be counseled.

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One of my female mentors told me that sometimes you have to sacrifice the execution in order to draw attention to the problem. Rather than doing their work and "covering for them," and then having them bitch about your "attitude" to Sr leadership, try not covering for them, raise the problem to Sr leadership, and offer to "coach" them.

likesmart

I would like to point out that in both cases these male leaders were not stepping up to their duties so I was covering both mine and theirs. You could call it covering for them.

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Agree with A2 - except I once had a very, VERY senior female exec tell me I needed to mind my facial expressions. I took that comment to heart (because I know it’s true); everything else the men can just deal with

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I get told that all of the time and it is unfair. It is absolutely a man vs woman thing.

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Same boat here . I was told something similar to @slalom I worry I loose authenticity. I plan to work on it , and am told I’m an expert and have the knowledge just need to not be aggressive. Bit hurtful because I think it’s not aggressive but assertive

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I’m an east coast transplant so maybe. I def think the guilt of not keeping up with my pace and my frustration equals the very real perception of intensity. Del 1, it’s really interesting that you say that, isn’t that the inverse of the stereotype? Nurturing, relationship focused women and execution focused men?

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A2 totally agree. Why is the onus always on women to adapt and why do we accept it? If there were more of us doing the right thing and being strong, it would be the norm and not an exception to be called out negatively

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A2 & OP, I haven't changed my driving behaviors or confidence at all - but a little moderation has definitely helped me grow a broader trust circle, and helps me get what I want, when I want it. So it's useful to me. OP, depends on the specifics. From the broad strokes here, I think I would start cataloging my daily/weekly workload and accomplishments, saving emails and make notes about dates, times, specifics when I had to 'cover, for whom, and note the the results of my cover and the probable impact to client if I did not cover. Then I'd seek someone at or above level to share with at the right time. Dunno how your review process works, but I would make sure my covering/elevated accomplishments were front and center on my self-assessment at a min.

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I’ve been told this. I ask them to be specific and to help me understand why this is problematic for them. Seek understanding

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How else do you get stuff done? The atrophy on the team is unbelievable and it shows. Clients comment, they don’t return for future business. Someone has to get things done so I just do. Obviously my style needs work, I find it hard to execute and smile and skip along the way. So what are your tips to do this and remain both “tolerable” and even “likable”?

I would love to be me A2 however in at least one case it’s resulted in some level of “we’re just going to take that elevated responsibility away from you.” How did you react to that feedback in the moment and how do you prevent yourself from having the wind knocked out your sails? SC1 explain how you think I could go about documenting?

Accenture 2: Bravo. Stay strong

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