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Jennifer Thomé (pronounced toe-may) is a former business journalist and intelligence researcher who explores the science of productivity and success.
During her decade-long career as a journalist and editor she noticed that professional women were often hesitant to be interviewed for articles or to speak candidly about the challenges that they faced in the workplace. Curious about whether or not there was an epidemic of “impostor syndrome” among female professionals, Jennifer started researching the dynamics of the workplace. Don’t Smile at the Monkeys: 7 Rules Women Need to Survive and Thrive in the Corporate Jungle is the culmination of years of interviews and research into animal behavior, biology and psychology, and how all of these factors work together to create our modern reality, especially at work.
She is currently fostering a new generation of media professionals at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and writing on the influence of internal narrative on success, mentoring and confidence. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys cooking, traveling and outdoor sports, and shares her time between Colorado, China and Germany.
General Summary According to statistics, women are terrible at getting ahead in the corporate world. Not only do they earn $500,000 to a million dollars less over their lifetimes than their male counterparts, they are also twice as likely to leave a position and a lot less likely to be promoted—all while holding equal (if not higher) levels of education and putting in comparable (if not more) hours in at work and at home. These figures, along with the fact that women were always more hesitant to accept interview requests, is what fueled Thomé’s quest to uncover why women felt out of place in the corporate world, and to come up with a set of rules that women could follow to go from merely surviving to thriving in the corporate jungle. After years of research into management science, evolutionary studies and ethology—not to mention dozens upon dozens of interviews with leading business figures from Asia, Europe and North America—Thomé summarized her findings in Don’t Smile at the Monkeys: 7 Rules Women Need to Survive and Thrive in the Corporate Jungle. In this books, women learn the seven rules they need to survive and thrive in the corporate jungle, including:– How to think and work like an animal – The neurological differences between women and men and how they play out in the office – The best ways to communicate using both their words and their bodies – How to fine-tune their bodies and minds for optimum productivity and to prevent burnout – A system for building a tight, powerful network that accelerates their career at all times without becoming a burden – The (scientifically-proven) best way to dress at work, and what styles of clothing will sabotage their careers – A set of tools that women can use to subconsciously influences those around them
While based in science and professional interviews, this book adopts a casual tone that is both empowering and fun to read: think of it as Cosmo meets Nature. Jennifer Thomé is a former intelligence researcher, business journalist and magazine editor who writes about productivity and fulfillment from a psychological and biological basis. Her first book, Don’t Smile at the Monkeys: 7 Rules Women Need to Survive and Thrive in the Corporate Jungle was released in June 2014. Her forthcoming books address the topics of confidence and authority, and the power of inner narrative has over external realities.
Don’t Smile at the Monkeys Chapter Summaries
Rule # 1: Work like and Animal Part of the reason that women struggle in the workplace is because they go in with the wrong goals and motivations, causing them to lose money and opportunities at every turn. This chapter outlines the key points that all women need to focus on in their careers, and how they can accomplish them without betraying their values.
Did you know?
- Women earn between 500,000 and a million dollars less per lifetime than their male counterparts.
- Male bosses agree that fear of failure and inability to move on quickly is the top reason that they prefer working with men rather than women.
- Talking about hard work, teamwork and overtime makes women look less competent and is not conducive to getting a raise or promotion.
Rule # 2: Don’t Smile at the Monkeys Science has shown distinct neurological and biological differences between women and men that affect their actions and perceptions in the workplace. This chapter outlines those differences and teaches women behaviors they can adopt their own thinking and behavior to appear more productive and efficient to their male counterparts.
Did you know?
- There are fundamental neurological differences that influence the way that women and men act in the office, but women can easily adapt their behavior to appear more efficient and productive.
- Many leaders—both male and female—agree that those acting too kindly towards others in the workplace are suspicious because they may be trying to cover something up or and curry favors.
- Women in female-dominant societies are bigger risk-takers than their male counterparts in male-dominated societies, meaning risk-taking ability is not a biologically-based strength.
Rule # 3: Master Jungle Speak It is no secret that manner of speech and body language are critical to success: this chapter outlines scientifically proven methods to improve both, and addresses the secret third element of language: the hormonal and pheromonal signals that instantly ingratiate people or send them running the other way.
Did you know?
- There are scientifically proven verbal patterns and grammatical structures that make people appear weak and indecisive or powerful and authoritative.
- Women’s cycles can have a powerful influence on whether or not they receive raises and favorable treatment by others in the office.
- Stress and anxiety, even when “under control” can send a subconscious signal to others in the office that you are the harbinger of impeding famine and disaster.
Rule # 4: Work with your Body With the importance of biological language and signals established, this chapter details how women can work with their body—from controlling their stress to leveraging their fertility—in order to make a maximum impact and get the most out of their work life.
Did you know?
- There is a much more effective way to process stress than breathing deeply and meditating, which can boost your brainpower and memory to boot.
- The difference between gut instincts and intuition is neurologically wired into your brain, but women can easily master of both.
- Fighter pilots use two common household ingredients to supercharge their brains before missions, and using them in the office can increase decision-making power and meeting productivity.
Rule # 5: Be a Pack Animal Who you know and how they feel about you is often more important than what kind of work you do or how well you do it. This chapter outlines the optimum dynamics and workplace relationships for the office, and how any woman can assemble a pack that will foster and accelerate her career.
Did you know?
- Having a balanced, powerful network can accelerate a woman’s career far faster than hard work.
- There is a golden ratio for workplace relationships, and it evolves over the years a person spends at a company.
- Many mentoring relationships fail because the mentee does not know what she wants out of the relationship.
- There is a simple way of dealing with bullies and office bores without coming off as rude or defensive.
Rule # 6: Camouflage Wisely Fashion and workplace etiquette are often touted as the be-all, end-all of how to make an impact in the office, but the amount of clothes that women wear (or don’t wear), the colors they choose and even the amount of make-up they use can trigger primal reactions in the brains of others that directly influence their status at work. This chapter outlines the best ways (according to science) of dressing and composing oneself in the workplace.
Did you know?
- Dressing too provocatively or unprofessionally is statistically correlated with as much as a 25% decrease in income.
- Male colleagues treat women wearing shades of red more favorably.
- Scientific studies have shown that women who dress too provocatively register as animals—not humans—in the brains of their beholders.
- One study found that violent criminals choose their victims based on body language, and several of the traits uncovered are the same ones associated with weak body language in the office.
Rule # 7: Practice Black Magic The corporate jungle is a complex environment, and sometimes it behooves the modern woman to have a few tricks up her sleeve. This chapter outlines a number of interesting biological and psychological mechanisms that stimulate the subconscious needs and desires of other people to create authority and increase bonding.Did you know?
- Note takers are perceived as more intelligent and contemplative than those who listen with their full attention.
- Using the passive voice to talk about others made them seem less competent in the eyes of the listener.
- Serving someone a warm beverage raises oxytocin levels and creates closer, more trusting relationships. It also helps counter adrenaline and its close relative cortisol.
- Sitting in someone’s right visual field triggers causes them to pay greater attention and increases their retention of the materials.