MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 17

MADEXXX call her “QB” for short), is the grown-up version of the mean girl you avoided in the hallways in high school. She is calculating, manipulative, and often engages in socially aggressive behaviors such as gossiping, or social exclusion, isolation and alienation in order to demoralize other women in the workplace. A study conducted by Cecilia Harvey, a London-based consultant and founder of Tech Women Today, and published in the journal Development and Learn- ing in Organisations, revealed that 70% of female executives feel they have been bullied by women in their office and that it has inhibited their professional development as a result. How to Spot the Queen Bee The QB is typically a female, Type-A executive who has a lot of influence in the workplace. She may be one of few or maybe the only one “at the top”, and she likes it that way, appearing to enjoy the spotlight. She takes pride in being “one of the boys” and possesses an assertive- ness and almost boisterous personality which appears to set her apart from other women in the room. Some QB’s may even have a brand for empowering women, but their behavior toward their subordinates reveals some- thing entirely opposite. At times, it may be easy to spot the QB, but other times it could be a little while before she reveals her true colors. I’ve been in both situations, myself. In one position, I felt demoralized and manipulated and my instincts told me I was being talked about unfavor- ably behind closed doors, but the realizations didn’t hit me until the damage had already been done. Another time, I was able to spot the type of person I was dealing with after the first interview. I’ve also experienced a professional relationship that completely unraveled and became toxic once I “stepped out of line” by having a difference of opinion. The key to identifying a QB is not an exact science, but I’ve found that personal intuition plays a huge part in it. If you’ve observed the typical traits mentioned above, chances are you’re dealing with a QB. Other tell tale signs might be that you’re feeling underutilized at work despite your qualifications or having asked for more responsibility, your opinions are not welcome if they are #mademaven different from hers, you feel undermined and/or manipulated by her actions on a consistent basis, or the overall work environment lacks professionalism. Getting the QB to Trust You Gaining the QB’s trust, on a base level, means delivering excellent work product and always being accessible, even after hours. Were you expecting something more profound? QB’s expect the same excellence and attitude from you that they strive for as well. In your interactions with the QB, you should always be gracious. Also, accept criticism - even if it’s harsh - with an open mind. Try to interpret it in a way that you can swallow, rather than how she delivers it. Never become defensive. Take a walk if you need to give yourself a moment to digest and pull the true meaning from the message. Besides, tough skin in the workplace builds resilience, right? Above all, be your true self and try not to doubt yourself or your abilities. Just like dogs can smell fear – QB’s can smell sweat. And you should never, ever let a QB see you sweat. Or 17