I put a new book on my Kindle today – published just last week, Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong is edited by Jennifer Bacal.
I can’t wait to get into it but I’m curious as to why the editor decided to include strictly women’s reflections. Gender-specific commentary, meetings, conferences, networking groups and so on are a pet peeve of mine. I have heard persuasive arguments as to why women in business still need separate attention from men in order to succeed but I think that a more useful categorization of people (and what they need in order to develop) considers factors such as personality type, attributes and skills, experiences, and their unique obstacles aka “opportunities for growth”.
For example, a couple of mistakes I make are: (1) I sometimes take criticism or feedback personally; and (2) occasionally I set unfair expectations of people – unfair in the sense that I don’t observe the person or people in question in action long enough, or get to know them well enough, before relying on them to come through for me in a certain way. I know that my personality makes me susceptible to making these two mistakes: I want things to be “perfect” not “good enough”, and when I meet a person usually my first instinct is to trust them and take them at their word. But I don’t think those attributes are unique to women: when I worked in a large company, I had the chance to see a variety of personality types in both men and women leading to a wide range of strengths and weaknesses.
So, at this point I believe that screwing up is a gender-blind activity. I will read the book and report back 🙂