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Hardball for Women

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In Hardball for Women, Pat Heim shows women how to break patterns of behavior that have put them at a disadvantage in the business world of men. Whether the arena is a law firm, a medical group, a corporation, or any other work environment, Hardball for Women decodes the male business culture and gives readers strategies on how to use its rules to get ahead and stay ahead. In Hardball for Women, Pat Heim shows women how to break patterns of behavior that have put them at a disadvantage in the business world of men. Whether the arena is a law firm, a medical group, a corporation, or any other work environment, Hardball for Women decodes the male business culture and gives readers strategies on how to use its rules to get ahead and stay ahead. Readers will learn to: Be assertive without being obnoxious Display confidence Engage in smart self-promotion Lead both men and women and recognize the differences between them Use power talk language to your advantage "


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In Hardball for Women, Pat Heim shows women how to break patterns of behavior that have put them at a disadvantage in the business world of men. Whether the arena is a law firm, a medical group, a corporation, or any other work environment, Hardball for Women decodes the male business culture and gives readers strategies on how to use its rules to get ahead and stay ahead. In Hardball for Women, Pat Heim shows women how to break patterns of behavior that have put them at a disadvantage in the business world of men. Whether the arena is a law firm, a medical group, a corporation, or any other work environment, Hardball for Women decodes the male business culture and gives readers strategies on how to use its rules to get ahead and stay ahead. Readers will learn to: Be assertive without being obnoxious Display confidence Engage in smart self-promotion Lead both men and women and recognize the differences between them Use power talk language to your advantage "

30 review for Hardball for Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I am not usually a big fan of management or self-help books, but this is a truly fascinating insight into the way the games we play as children shape our minds and our socialisation and how this translates into different behaviours in the workplace. Might not help me so much in my career, but as a mother of girls it is incredibly insightful and thought-provoking

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    Hardball for women is not a male bashing book at all. the author describes gender differences arising from our upbringing. The author is in the healthcare field, which made the stores relate to my understanding as well. For example, girls play dolls. boys play football. the goal in dolls is to be friends at the end of the day - it's the process that's important. you cannot "win" dolls. the goal in football is to score. the process really isnt important. taking the same dolls and football analogy Hardball for women is not a male bashing book at all. the author describes gender differences arising from our upbringing. The author is in the healthcare field, which made the stores relate to my understanding as well. For example, girls play dolls. boys play football. the goal in dolls is to be friends at the end of the day - it's the process that's important. you cannot "win" dolls. the goal in football is to score. the process really isnt important. taking the same dolls and football analogy forward to the board room, women are viewed as not being a team player when they do not follow the "coach", but rather ask about other ways to do things. After a coach said go 10 yards and then turn right, men would never say "you know - it might be better to go 8 yards and then left a bit". Men do what the coach says. It also describes the scenario where men can fight all day at work and then go have a beer. Women, in general, cannot do that. Quite enlightening.

  3. 5 out of 5

    TRE

    Great read into how differently the two genders communicate, interact and build social organizations/hierarchies, and how miscommunication between them can cause frustration and even cost promotions. Highly recommend for anyone looking to go into the business world or is already in it but confused about "the game" taking place around them. This book not only clues you in to that it's being played at all, but why it exists and how to excel within it. Despite the title, Dr. Pat Heim wrote this book Great read into how differently the two genders communicate, interact and build social organizations/hierarchies, and how miscommunication between them can cause frustration and even cost promotions. Highly recommend for anyone looking to go into the business world or is already in it but confused about "the game" taking place around them. This book not only clues you in to that it's being played at all, but why it exists and how to excel within it. Despite the title, Dr. Pat Heim wrote this book as much for men as she did for women as she considers inter-gender communication a two-way street when it comes to understanding and adapting to each other in the workplace, but there are tips specifically for women based upon her 20-plus years of experience in the corporate world and the mistakes she witnessed herself and her female peers committed when navigating an inherently male hierarchy and culture.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alessandra

    Useful guide to interpret and analyze different gender behaviours at work. It's like a lens under which to see why certain phenomena happen and especially what we (women) can do to change our path and learn to play along in a world that we have not defined, without judgement or anger. Useful guide to interpret and analyze different gender behaviours at work. It's like a lens under which to see why certain phenomena happen and especially what we (women) can do to change our path and learn to play along in a world that we have not defined, without judgement or anger.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I have mixed feelings about this one. Yes, there is very valuable content in there and it was nice to see in print some of the lessons that I feel I've learned over my 20 year career. But the name is awful. It reminds me of the "_____ for Dummies" series of books. I don't agree that we have to call corporate culture "hardball" or that women need "hardball" broken down for them in a special way because we are somehow imbeciles. I literally felt embarrassed that my sons would see me holding this t I have mixed feelings about this one. Yes, there is very valuable content in there and it was nice to see in print some of the lessons that I feel I've learned over my 20 year career. But the name is awful. It reminds me of the "_____ for Dummies" series of books. I don't agree that we have to call corporate culture "hardball" or that women need "hardball" broken down for them in a special way because we are somehow imbeciles. I literally felt embarrassed that my sons would see me holding this title. But if you set that aside, it does go through the way the professional sphere is very much a man's world and many super specific ways that women can self-sabotage if they don't recognize the differences that are keeping them down. It took me a month to read because it was not pleasurable and I would have to take breaks and read other things but I don't regret reading it. In that sense, it's kind of like grape antibiotic if that were named 'medicine for morons.' All that said, there are career strategy goals towards the end that I think I will come back to re-read in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    This book was incredibly outdated from my perspective. Heim's argument that male and female culture is different is valid for sure. However, though she makes the case that she is only explaining the differences to empower women to navigate the male world, it seems like she is saying that we need to change our behavior entirely. This book was written in the 90s and has since been recently updated, but even with the updates I couldn't seriously believe the advice I was being given. This book was incredibly outdated from my perspective. Heim's argument that male and female culture is different is valid for sure. However, though she makes the case that she is only explaining the differences to empower women to navigate the male world, it seems like she is saying that we need to change our behavior entirely. This book was written in the 90s and has since been recently updated, but even with the updates I couldn't seriously believe the advice I was being given.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leanna

    I'm giving myself permission not to finish this one. Even thinking about trying to read more of it makes me angry. Maybe someday I'll come back and write a proper review of why it was so awful, but not today. I'm giving myself permission not to finish this one. Even thinking about trying to read more of it makes me angry. Maybe someday I'll come back and write a proper review of why it was so awful, but not today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    AA

    A terrific guide to the behaviors that keep women from “winning” in business. Good validation on personal observations and behaviors I espouse and a helpful introspective lens on things that I should correct. I didn’t agree with everything, but the majority of the book provides practical advice on climbing the career ladder by understanding the innate differences between the genders. It was also a good reminder of what makes female friendships and relationships special and fragile. Women need to A terrific guide to the behaviors that keep women from “winning” in business. Good validation on personal observations and behaviors I espouse and a helpful introspective lens on things that I should correct. I didn’t agree with everything, but the majority of the book provides practical advice on climbing the career ladder by understanding the innate differences between the genders. It was also a good reminder of what makes female friendships and relationships special and fragile. Women need to continue pushing through barriers and making sure the door stays wide open for all the women who are coming up behind, beside and even down and around.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aparna Aggarwal

    A slightly outdated book but I really enjoyed the structure of the book and the insight it gave into the gender differences of mindset. Before reading the book, I never thought much about how girls always play with dolls while boys have aggression in their play from the word go. How all those go on to impact how we behave or experience our work place was a great read for me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christy Esmahan

    I wish I would have read this book 15 years ago!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Richards

    Great tactical info for women (and men) to compete and play the game. I've already used some techniques and already feel better about not having to "do it all". Great tactical info for women (and men) to compete and play the game. I've already used some techniques and already feel better about not having to "do it all".

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fatima

    outdated.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenee

    A billion times better than the title would imply. A great book on communication styles!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    If Deborah Tannen and a solid business coach decided to write a book, this would probably be it. Pat Heim has written a very interesting (and true!) book about how our social conditioning as women continues to hurt us in male-dominated and male-run businesses. Filled with specific explanations about the differing communication styles in the workplace, Heim teaches women "power strategies" that they can employ in order to play hardball and be successful in their careers. It's no secret that even If Deborah Tannen and a solid business coach decided to write a book, this would probably be it. Pat Heim has written a very interesting (and true!) book about how our social conditioning as women continues to hurt us in male-dominated and male-run businesses. Filled with specific explanations about the differing communication styles in the workplace, Heim teaches women "power strategies" that they can employ in order to play hardball and be successful in their careers. It's no secret that even today women are still paid almost 30% less than men and often face subtle-and not so subtle-forms of discrimination because of their gender. In this book, Heim attempts to enlighten and teach women how to identify the behaviors they've learned growing up (what she calls "House and Doll Lessons") and walks them through different strategies they can take to be successful (ie: to play by the rules men learned growing up.) Although the entire premise of Heim's book bothered me (ie: that women still need to act like men in many organizations to be successful), I believe that most of what she writes in this book is true. This book is more than just "don't cry in a meeting" kind of advice; Heim provides detailed descriptions of when a woman should play hardball and when it works in her advantage to implement the unstated rules of her gender. This would be a great book for you if: 1. You are a woman who works for a male boss. 2. You are a woman who has male peers (and therefore competitors for promotions) 3. You are a woman who is very successful in the workplace but struggle in your interpersonal relationships (Most likely you're successful in the workplace b/c you have adopted the male gender rules but aren't following the female gender rules between women in your personal life and this is harming the perception others have of you). 4. You are a woman who is used to working in a male-dominated profession but you've recently switched to a female-dominated profession and you're struggling (once again, you may just need the 'rules' explained to you). 5. You are a female manager in an organization full of women (this book does a fantastic job explaining why women have such a difficult time managing other women.) This is a book that I highlighted often because there was so much relevant information in it. It's probably a book that I will reference time and time again, especially when I'm negotiating with men. However, I just can't bring myself to give this book 5 stars. Heim's insider advice is interesting, insightful and relevant, but she only devotes the last, very short chapter to discussing how women can start to transform the unfortunate inequity in the workplace. It's really just an afterthought. For a book that's subtitled, "Winning at the Game of Business" I would have liked there to be more information and strategies on this as well. Only until women are fully respected for being women (and allowed to act like women in the workplace) will we have won at the game of business.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This book is phenomenally helpful in understanding the different ways men and women communicate. It frames the divide as one of culture - men are socialized to hierarchical, goal-directed games which lead them to interpret competition as stimulating and winning as all-important; women are socialized to flat, relationship-oriented play which leads them to view competition as dangerous and getting along with others all-important. As a consequence, women frequently communicate in ways that cause me This book is phenomenally helpful in understanding the different ways men and women communicate. It frames the divide as one of culture - men are socialized to hierarchical, goal-directed games which lead them to interpret competition as stimulating and winning as all-important; women are socialized to flat, relationship-oriented play which leads them to view competition as dangerous and getting along with others all-important. As a consequence, women frequently communicate in ways that cause men to perceive them as lacking power. Women in hierarchies tend to try to flatten the hierarchies, particularly with regard to the other women. Both limit women's achievement, but never fear: Multiple strategies for verbal and non-verbal communication, networking, and decision-making are included in the book. Men may also find it a helpful read in order to work better with the women in their workplace, or to help their wives, daughters, sisters, and women friends avoid common barriers. Besides, who couldn't love a book that has a clear way of explaining why men and women have difficulty shopping together, and why the "How was your day?" conversation creates such frustration? Such knowledge is liberating: We understand the miscommunication and can choose to avoid it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    pri

    very interesting study of the differences between men and women in the workplace and how we are perceived by one another. it definitely made me think a lot about my own reactions and how to modify my behaviors just a little bit to play better in the workplace. one thing - especially - struck me. the idea that men can battle heavily on the field and then grab a beer afterward. that idea of - it isn't personal. there are no hard feelings. i think that this book must have been a total eye opener 10 very interesting study of the differences between men and women in the workplace and how we are perceived by one another. it definitely made me think a lot about my own reactions and how to modify my behaviors just a little bit to play better in the workplace. one thing - especially - struck me. the idea that men can battle heavily on the field and then grab a beer afterward. that idea of - it isn't personal. there are no hard feelings. i think that this book must have been a total eye opener 10+ years ago. but now that businesses really have more of a mix of men and women in most situations (granted, some are still men-only), these rules don't apply 100%. i began to read this without wanting to put much stock in it - but did find it very appropriate and eye opening. i am interested in following up with her 'In the Company of Women' book later on to learn more about how we sabotage the women that we work with (which i do think is quite true). all in all, i highly recommend this book for anyone playing the political game at work. it's a book that i think i'll go back to year-to-year to refresh on some of the teachings and pick up something new with each read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anagha

    Some books are “nice to read once”, some are “worth owning” so you can add flags, make notes, re-read sections, and remind yourself of ways in which you’re sabotaging your own success by playing into stereotypes you don’t even know about. This book fit into the latter category for me. It helped me reflect on challenging situations that I had adapted to (or not), why they had been hard, what I thought I had learned and then I re-learned or revised my learning after reading anecdotes and experienc Some books are “nice to read once”, some are “worth owning” so you can add flags, make notes, re-read sections, and remind yourself of ways in which you’re sabotaging your own success by playing into stereotypes you don’t even know about. This book fit into the latter category for me. It helped me reflect on challenging situations that I had adapted to (or not), why they had been hard, what I thought I had learned and then I re-learned or revised my learning after reading anecdotes and experiences shared by the authors in their many workshops. That said, I think you need to have been in specific types of experiences where stereotypical gender roles, biases and expectations surface and trip you up because they were (unknowingly in my experience) used in judgment against you, to find the book useful. In my 15 years as a student and professional in finance and tech, I’ve experienced these only once or twice. I’m pleased to note that I’ve either been quite lucky or that the workforce has evolved from being an old-boys-club into an environment where opinions, actions and behavioral patterns are understood and accepted as they are, and in a gender neutral way, without judgment.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book at first. To be sure, some of the advice is way outdated (was published in 1992), such as the absolute pronouncement against women wearing pants at work. There was no mention of email or the internet, either, which was oddly funny to me. Overall, though, I think Heim did a bang-up job of explaining the differences between women and men at work and how those differences came about. While I the reliance on childhood games (ie sports-related ga I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book at first. To be sure, some of the advice is way outdated (was published in 1992), such as the absolute pronouncement against women wearing pants at work. There was no mention of email or the internet, either, which was oddly funny to me. Overall, though, I think Heim did a bang-up job of explaining the differences between women and men at work and how those differences came about. While I the reliance on childhood games (ie sports-related games for boys and house/doll games for girls) was a bit heavy, the point was taken. There were a few "aha!" moments for me and Heim was already at the ready with practical ideas and examples. Two chapters I partically liked were called "Power Talk" and Power Moves". These chapters explained how women can use language and nonverbal cues to their advantage. A really good read, that I would likely recommend, despite some of the dated info.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This book offered some helpful strategies for women in achieving success in the business world. The edition I read was last revised in the 1990s and I thought quite a bit of it was outdated. Also, it was a somewhat disheartening to read, given all the examples of how women could be/are seen as weaker or less effective in the workplace. However, overall it was a decent read and I found some chapters helpful

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nada Abandah

    I first bought this book at the beginning of my solo-career thinking that it would offer me a valuable advice on what needs to be done, and how to do it! I'm Majorly disappointed as it just went on venting about how hard women gets it in work environments without offering any real or usable strategies of how to overcome it. or at least deal with it. I first bought this book at the beginning of my solo-career thinking that it would offer me a valuable advice on what needs to be done, and how to do it! I'm Majorly disappointed as it just went on venting about how hard women gets it in work environments without offering any real or usable strategies of how to overcome it. or at least deal with it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jannetf

    The best book about how to grow and understand the non-verbal language on business. Not only ideal for women, bit also for men working with women. It is not the typical feminist book that tells you to act as a guy in order to be successful in business as a woman. It goes very deep in how and why certain attitudes work for women that want to be on the top level.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Candace Dorn

    This was a refreshing approach to a tried and true topic: Women in business. There are points of view I had never considered. For example, wearing the proper uniform, listening to the coach, and enjoying the competition. As a female who grew up playing sports, I took the easy-to-remember advice to heart as I continue my career in the boys club.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mariel Lopez

    I found this book to be especially informative in looking at how women can succeed in any male dominated work force (My thing is if you can’t change the system, at least know how to work it and ace it - which this book does!). The book also looks at the difference in behaviours and lessons boys and girls experience from a young age that you don’t think about. Highly recommend!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Prii

    I believe some people badly rate this book because they cannot think beyond their own mindset. However, my criticism of this book is that it has very few points but will talk in circles and repeat the same thing in slightly different verbiage. Points were made, but about a 100 pages could have been eliminated from this book and you would get the same message.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I read an earlier edition of this book many years ago. I always recommend it to women starting out in male-dominated fields. Great discussion of the differences in the ways males and females are socialized and what that means in the workplace.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This book has nothing to do.with business and should be called "How to be an A$$hole at Work" -- horrible advice. Could not finish it, and do not recommend it. Unless your desire is to engage in petty mind games and grandstanding to get ahead, skip this dated, sexist, and wrongheaded "how to". This book has nothing to do.with business and should be called "How to be an A$$hole at Work" -- horrible advice. Could not finish it, and do not recommend it. Unless your desire is to engage in petty mind games and grandstanding to get ahead, skip this dated, sexist, and wrongheaded "how to".

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Some of the views are very outdated. The business world is advancing so fast and flat organisational structures are becoming the norm. Females do still have to work twice as hard but the idea of outright hierarchy is slowly dissipating

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A great read for women who would like some perspective on how habits and mannerisms from traditional female upbringing are perceived, and how they affect business communications and opportunities.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Krysia

    It will be right there on the shelf with Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office 101 so I can refer to it when I need to. It will be right there on the shelf with Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office 101 so I can refer to it when I need to.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    For all women in any field- read this book, and then read it again. These are the lessons that no one seems to teach us along the way.

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