Tales from the city: Getting unprofessionally personal over a business disagreement
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The Power Playbook's Rose Herceg reports from whichever city she finds herself in about the stories she sees in boardrooms, business lunches and dinners across Australia (and sometimes the world).
Time: Monday 10am
Place: Perth boardroom: company making famous Australian wines
Players in the meeting: Winemakers and the people responsible for marketing the wine
The scene: A team of marketers trying to revive a wine brand that needs all the help it can get. Two women who have differing ideas about the marketing plan decide to make it personal. They snipe at each other and each other's ideas. They forget that unprofessional conduct is thoroughly unattractive and no one cares. All the winemaking client cares about is the best plan for reviving the wine label and arresting a declining sales graph. Seeing two women duke it out plays into all the stereotypes about competitive women in the workplace. And neither of the women will come out a winner.
Power play do-over? (If either woman could turn back the clock and have that moment all over again)
There's no reason for any woman to take out her competition: because this is exactly the wrong way to think about other women in the workplace. There is more than enough room for many women at the top and women should be their own best friends and supporters. When you disagree with someone else's strategies and ideas, never make it personal. You can dislike the idea but like the person: and these two women could have disagreed about the best way forward but still remained friendly and professional.
It would have killed the stereotype of competitive women who can't play together in business and would have been a lovely display of (gentle) power too.
Next week we listen in on a meeting between an Old School investor and a young female entrepreneur...