Development Coaching and Being Successful at Work

150 150 Ellen Ensher
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The Orange Line Book Cover Development Coaching and Being Successful at Work

Ever wonder what the secret is to being successful at work for women? I heard a great development coaching talk about this topic last week from an LMU alumna, Kelly Watson. Kelly, along with co-authors Jodi Ecker Detjen and Michelle A. Waters have written a book that provides insight for professionals in The Orange Line: A Woman’s Guide to Integrating Career, Family and Life.  If you are looking for the latest in career tips and advice, then read on!

Drawing from 118 interviews with college-educated women, the authors identify three messages that women are inundated with and that can prevent them from reaching their full potential both professionally and personally.  The three implicit expectations, referred to by the authors as the Feminine Filter,  that women hold for themselves and other women are:

  • Be Nice
  • Look Good
  • Do it All

When Kelli mentioned these ideas, I noticed head nods and smiles all around the room and I found myself humming an old commercial from the 1980’s by Enjoli that exhorts women to “bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, ever, ever let you forget you are a man.”  The Enjoli perfume is for the “eight-hour perfume for the 24-hour woman”… so what happens when our perfume wears off?! Oh, never mind.  In any case, you can check it out here although I must warn you there is something about this jingle that becomes permanently embedded in your brain so be careful!

Kelly’s basic premise was that if we are aware of these basic messages we can reframe them and that awareness is the first step to doing so.   On one hand, I think women’s work life balance and success is complex and multi-faceted so there is more to it than just reframing.  On the other hand, I agree with her because I do know that cognitive restructuring works. It makes me a little sad however, that a jingle from the 1980’s still seems relevant for today.  I hope we can do better than this in the next thirty years. So, what do you think, if you are a woman do you feel like you need to be nice, look good, and do it all? And if you are a man, are you also expecting your partner to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you are a man?!  Overall, I think this book provides some great development coaching career tips and advice not only for women, but for all professionals.

For more information on this terrific book, check out

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