Did you know that October 23 is National Slap Your Irritating Co-worker Day?
That handy bit of information is just one of the laugh-out-loud moments you’ll experience when reading Difficult Conversations Just for Women: Kill the Anxiety. Get What You Want. by Sofia Santiago, MBA, PMP, and Dr. Susan Harrison. The book is the result of the Kansas City area writers’ WikiWomen workshop, described as a one-day, hands-on, highly interactive program of experiential learning.
“And it’s fun!” says Susan.
The quick-reading, entertaining book shares ground-breaking research dealing with how women and men essentially speak two different languages. According to the writers, strategies men use to get what they want won’t work for women. “People respond negatively to assertive women, whereas assertive men are admired,” Sofia says. “When women speak out to defend their turf, they’re seen as ‘control freaks,’ while men, acting the same way, are seen as highly committed.”
There’s a common misconception that men don’t like to hear a woman’s problems because he wants to solve them for her while she just wants him to listen. This book proves that such is not the case. In each chapter—from recognizing what makes a difficult conversation, to preparing to have the difficult conversation, to what to do after the conversation—Sofia and Susan move the reader progressively forward in a series of planned steps designed to alleviate fear and secure a resolution.
The book is full of personal stories and anecdotes that are used to emphasize the writers’ points. “We share cutting-edge research on female/male differences and stories from other women that our readers relate to,” says Sofia.
In the book’s nine chapters, women learn to raise their confidence while discovering and taming the fears that prevent them from asking for things they want. The step-by-step guide encourages women to learn and practice proven techniques based on the writers’ research and years of practical experience.
In Difficult Conversations Just for Women, Sofia and Susan have essentially put into print all of the elements of their WikiWomen Academy workshops. A WikiWoman, the book explains, “is a woman who learns, grows, and improves every area of her life while helping other women do the same.”
The writers urge men to read Difficult Conversations to help them better understand the women with whom they live and work. “We’ve had men offer to wear a dress if we let them attend one of our workshops,” says Susan. “But we’ve seen how a female-only group, where everyone can relate to their common challenges, creates a powerful camaraderie and tremendous energy women take back with them to tackle life’s challenges. We love seeing women having ‘A-ha!’ moments when they finally understand what they’ve been doing wrong all these years, and why they never got the results they wanted.”