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About the Author

Katherine "Katty" Kay grew up in the Middle East because her father was a British diplomat. She was born on November 14, 1964. After graduating from Oxford University, where she studied modern languages, she went to work for an aid agency in Zimbabwe. She joined the BBC in 1990 as the Zimbabwe mostrar mais correspondent for the African section before eventually becoming the Washington correspondent and anchor for BBC World News America. With Claire Shipman, she wrote the books Womenomics and The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know. Both of which became listed on the New York Times bestseller list. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

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We've had a lot of conversations at work lately about leadership - how those in leadership positions can improve and also how to get a more diverse group of candidates ready for when leadership roles open up. This book was suggested by one of the women on my team at work, so I listened to the audiobook.

I found a lot to interest me. I'm not a naturally confident person, at least not in the outward way that most people first define confidence, but I do have a strong inner confidence that has helped me in my leadership role at work. A lot of this book confirmed that some of my instincts are based in genetics, my upbringing, and tips that I've picked up over the years.

The book dwells quite a bit on the differences between men and women and wonders how women can be more like men in the workplace. There's a lot of generalization of course, to make these points. Men only need to feel about 40% percent confident that they are putting forth a "correct" answer/viewpoint to offer their opinion while women need to feel 100% positive that their opinions are researched and correct before they will speak. Studies have shown that men will stick to their convictions much longer than women when they are made to wait and see how things work out. Simply reminding women that they are women before they take a math test lowers their scores by a significant percentage. Men predict higher success rates on tests; women predict lower success rates on tests; actual outcomes are the same.

There is also quite a bit on raising children and what is seen in confidence even at a young age. There is quite a bit of focus on how sports can increase confidence in girls.

What I wanted more of was how to apply all this research into concrete ways to increase confidence in women, especially in women who I lead and I know need a boost. There were some ideas, but it felt crammed in at the end.

Of course, I also though the whole time, why should women try to achieve this male standard of confidence? Maybe the world would be a better place if men took a cue from how women portray confidence and lead. I think if we had more women in leadership roles in the workplace, this would shift quickly.

And, as always, my caveat with this sort of research is that the majority of men I work with do not portray these sort of male bravado or female "shrinking violet" tendencies that the book relies on. I think most people are somewhere in the middle. But, it's also true that men still overwhelmingly hold more leadership roles in the workplace than women, so I think it's worth thinking about what role confidence plays in that truth.
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japaul22 | 7 outras críticas | Mar 23, 2024 |
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
fernandie | 2 outras críticas | Sep 15, 2022 |
This book does give some good examples and research that shows how confidence is expressed in women and can help women build confidence in different ways. I particularly enjoy the advice of fail fast and to stop ruminating
Crystal199 | 7 outras críticas | Sep 24, 2021 |
Why are women paid less than men? Why are they treated differently at work and in life? No doubt difficult, complicated questions. And, no doubt, confidence plays a role. In The Confidence Code, the authors, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, embark on the journey to discover why there's a disparity in confidence between women and men. They are investigative journalists who interview many of the most powerful and confident women in the world, along with the leading psychologists and scientists who study confidence. Throughout they discover that the answers are more complicated than we'd like to admit. For one, without a doubt there's a genetic factor. Like optimism, some people are just wired to be more confident than others. This genetic difference can account from anywhere between 25% and 50% of confidence levels. However, after surveying several scientist, they observe - this genetic difference is not found just with women.

Second, environment obviously plays a role. And the US ranks at an embarrassingly #62 worldwide for empowering women. Third, they tackle the somewhat controversial conclusions that men and women actually are wired differently. Young girls tend to beat boys at emotional intelligence and verbal skills, while boys tends to do better at spacial reasoning and enjoy competition. However, many of these differences level out by about age 18. But! (I forget all detailed science of it)... but! women tend to have high levels of ?white? matter in the brain, which means they usually are able to multi-task better, but they are also more prone to anxiety, ie. lower confidence levels. Parenting also plays a big role. Nevertheless, with all uncontrollable aspects of confidence, they conclude by looking at neuroplasticity - the idea that our brains can physiologically change. Much of confidence comes down to choice. Do we take small risks everyday? Do we talk to strangers and challenge ourselves, taking small steps of vulnerability that lead to greater levels of confidence? Most of their conclusions meshed nicely with Brene Brown's research on vulnerability.

But their main imperative for increased confidence is this: act! And act now! Don't overthink. Do. Risk and "fail fast," seeing failure as an opportunity to grow and learn.

They concluded with a long list of practicals on how to increase your confidence: practice CBT, meditate, sleep, exercise, be grateful - Say "Thank you. I appreciate that" without deflecting, think small and break down big tasks into smaller, achievable ones, and of course, practice power poses.

Of note, the advice to "fake it 'til you make it" is catchy, but bad advice. Don't pretend to be someone you are not. You will feel worse for it, and most can spot an imposter. Take action. Do one small brave action. The next one will be easier. Struggle is an opportunity. Learn to accept yourself, warts and all, without apology (I believe by CBT). Perfection is the enemy of the good. SO (this was surprising...) "be less good." And as backward as it sounds, try to praise your daughters (in particular) less for being good; instead, praise their progress and hard word (similar to Dweck's Mindset). Even try to correct their rebellion less, as well.

Overall, it was a really good read. If you're interested at all in confidence studies, gender studies, gender equality, or parenting strategies, particularly for girls, it was great. The countless studies they summarize were fantastic and bothersome. For instance, men are 5 times more likely to ask for raise and women simply assume they’re worth $6k less than their male counterparts. Women, if asked to identify their sex before taking a test, will do worse on that test and men will do better. And that's just scratching the surface.

Also, the subtitle - What Women Should Know - is appropriate and accurate; but, I thought the book was great for everyone, particularly if you feel you struggle with confidence, as I do.

Lastly, I felt their conclusion was spot on. Namely, confidence looks different for different people. Here's their point: women should not try to become merely like men. When women are confident, it's quite different than the male version of it. The last study (I believe) they referenced was an 8 year study from Stanford looking at women leaders. The ones who were most successful were those able to practice "male" and "female" traits of confidence. Namely, male traits were aggressiveness, assertiveness, and confidence. Female traits included collaboration, having a process orientation, persuasion and humility. These women did better than all others, including men with "female" traits. It should come as no surprise then that women in politics tend to pass more legislation than men do.
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nrt43 | 7 outras críticas | Dec 29, 2020 |


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