Sex at workplace. Does it work?

http://business.unr.edu/faculty/simmonsb/badm720/wsjwomen.pdf

I have to say I enjoyed this article more than the article in my previous post.  I liked it because it seemed it supported most of my argument and thoughts in my previous email and I also liked it because it completely disagreed with some of my statements.  I guess, I was too optimistic to think this will be a non-issue in a near future.  I also liked this article because it covered so many different examples as well as the good, the bad and the ugly.

I guess my biggest mistake is that I always compare people to myself and I assume they think the way I do.  I would not be offended if a woman flirted with me at a workplace to get what she wants.  I feel like I have a strong enough personality to be able to see through that.  I also won’t judge a woman for flirting with me or anyone else to accomplish what she has on her agenda because, as I mentioned in my previous blog,  I think anyone should be able to use any tool in their possession in order to achieve the best result.

To me flirting is no different than any other form of manipulation and as both of these articles suggest manipulation can only get you so far on a corporate ladder.   What I failed to consider in my previous blog was the effect a woman’s (or a man’s) flirtatious behavior could have on people who don’t share my point of view.

What both of these articles missed to cover in better detail is the effect a woman’s flirtatious behavior could have on her female colleagues.  Would they think the only reason she has reached where she is in life for her ability to manipulate people?  How could there be any professional respect where assumption exist?  What if a male colleague takes these flirtatious gestures to heart and changes his behavior based on these gestures.  What if he tries something he wouldn’t otherwise try?  Would she go along with the sham or would she get offended?  Wouldn’t that alienate her colleagues.

Surely a woman is allowed and free to use what has been given to her for her benefit and to me how you use it is an art.   It is no different than any other form of manipulation and in business world there are many manipulative exchanges take place on day-to-day basis.  What I feel needs to be done is to change the working environment.  If this is a challenge at a workplace, they need to provide a working environment in which flirting and manipulating others is not allowed and is frowned upon.  A working environment that only evaluates you on your working ability.

The real question here is would this limit individuals to only half of their abilities?  Is there a fine line between manipulation and interpersonal soft skills?  Could an organization benefit from men and women individuals who have the ability to use their sexual persona as well as their business abilities to close a business deal and generate revenue?   I’m not an expert in this area but I have a feeling many organizations do but as this article suggest you can’t always (or only) depend on that.

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~ by aliahmadian on January 27, 2010.

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