Women can be so hard on each other in (and out of) the workplace doing things such as backstabbing, gossiping, purposely excluding someone from a meeting, taking credit for someone’s work or helping to push someone out of a job. Maybe you’ve been the target of some these behaviors at the hands of another woman at work. Please know that you aren’t alone.

I call this the dark side of working with women. I’ve been there too, and not just at work. This behavior can also rear its ugly head in your personal life. It’s deeply disturbing, and one of the worst parts is that it can be contagious, like a fast-spreading virus. What I mean by that is that one mean girl in a group can then serve as the “bad egg” and turn others against a target. And if you have ever been the target of mean girl behavior, the effects can be incredibly damaging on every aspect of your life – I don’t care how old you are, this behavior never gets easier to deal with.

Although outside of the office, women consider their girlfriends among their closest confidants, they aren’t always each other’s biggest supporters within the workplace. In fact, they can be each other’s worst nightmares and saboteurs, if they view each other as rivals.

Today there are Regina George-like characters in every industry, simply because there are more women in the workplace. Their catty behaviors such as gossiping, backstabbing and sabotaging can turn an otherwise pleasant workplace into a place of daily dread.

The silver lining is that while you will inevitably encounter mean girls throughout your career, learning how to manage them will make you stronger and more resilient. Dealing with someone like this enables you to emerge a more confident version of yourself.

Today, I am lucky enough to work in an environment free of mean girls (thank goodness!), but I do come into contact with them from time to time – just like we all do – and I carry with me the memories of working with some very toxic females, which have helped me develop a thicker skin, and learn how to navigate them – these are important skills to have throughout your career because you will inevitably encounter mean girls personally and professionally. I want to make it clear that are plenty of amazing, supportive women in the workforce, and I’ve been very lucky to work with a number of them. They aren’t threatened by other women, and instead they go above and beyond to help others succeed.

It’s important to remember that while you cannot can’t change someone else, you can change your own behavior, and this article will teach you how to do just that. 
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I’m excited to speak at the ARK Group’s Competitive Intelligence in the Modern Law Firm conference this Wednesday 9/25 in NYC with Amanda Loesch the CMO of Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C.

We will be discussing, “How to Identify Your Firm’s Real Competitors and Use That Information to Your Advantage.” Amanda and I both have

I wanted to share a few thoughts for some little things you can do in your marketing efforts to go the extra mile and stand out from competitors.

When you’re at a conference, don’t just sit on your phone checking your email. Really detach from your day-to-day work and immerse yourself in the conference experience.

My mentor and wise friend Wendy Bernero has always reminded me that happiness is a choice available to each of us and is crucial for our well being. She also told me that it’s okay to not be okay all of the time.

After the recent and abrupt ending of a relationship that forced me to move out of my home, she again said to me, “I know you’re sad now, but you can to choose to be happy.” She went on to tell me that I must choose it or else it could be very damaging to me professionally and personally.

You can be stuck feeling bad during bad times or you can choose to make hardships and the worst times of your life teaching moments and turn them into something positive. You’d be surprised just how resilient each of us are if we just believe it.

Also, happiness comes easier to some people and others must choose to be happy at certain points in our lives in order to turn the tide around or just to carry on and not to fall into a dark hole of despair.

I’m about to share a personal story that is not easy for me – but I’m doing it in the hopes that it helps others. Not everyone shares what’s going on with them personally with professional colleagues, but I want others to know that life is messy and no one is perfect – especially me, and so many of us are struggling with personal crises and it’s a miracle we are so high functioning! It’s about time we got real and stop making it seem like everything is fine when it’s not. I also wanted others who are struggling to know that they are not alone, and again, it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

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It’s important to remember that you should be kind to everyone, because every industry is incredibly tight knit.

Also, everyone is a potential referral source, or someone who could potentially hire you or recommend you for a job. You never know who knows who, and just like everyone checks you out online, people also ask

A wise friend of mine always says that I should assume good intent with everyone with whom I come into contact. I try to do this instead of making snap judgments and reacting in the moment, but it isn’t always easy to practice in real life.

For example, a couple of weeks ago I accidentally bumped someone with my ginormous handbag on the NYC subway. Her response was, well let’s just say not very nice and included a four-letter word. The old me would have retorted with something snarky, but the new me, who lately has been going through a lot personally and who keeps hearing the “assume good intent” words in her head on loop, simply apologized and wished her a better day. I instantly felt better. I was the bigger person and didn’t react negatively (woo hoo)! And more importantly I was kind, because I knew that her anger had nothing to do with me and rather was about something going on in her own life. If each of us was more empathetic toward each other, we would eliminate so much unnecessary conflict and drama.

I wanted to write about being kinder to others to remind myself and others because so many of us are carrying around heavy personal baggage on a daily basis that impacts us. In fact, it’s a miracle on some days that we can even function being saddled with this much baggage. It doesn’t matter how successful or old one is, everyone deals with personal and professional issues that affect our moods and impact our interactions with others. And while we don’t have control over what others do, we do have control over our own actions, how we deal with the cards we’ve been dealt and how we interact with others.
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Of course everyone learns and thinks differently – our brains are each hard wired uniquely – different strokes for different folks.

All throughout my formative school and college years, I was a traditional note taker, writing things down with an old-fashioned pen and paper. Despite the advent of many cool tech tools designed to make

Women can be pretty ruthless to each other in the workplace. Backstabbing, rumor spreading, malicious talking, gossiping, purposely excluding someone from an event or meeting, taking credit for someone’s work or helping to push someone out of a job.

I bet many of you have experienced behavior such as the ones mentioned above at the hands of another woman.

I call this the dark side of working with women.

Those close to me know that I have wanted to write an article on how to recognize a mean girl at work and develop strategies to effectively manage her and succeed in spite of her undermining behavior for a long time. (As an aside, I’ve also dealt with a few “mean guys” too, but that’s for a different article.)

Today, I am lucky enough to work in an environment free of mean girls (thank goodness!), that I don’t come into contact with them from time to time, or carry with me the memory of some terrible experiences of working with some very toxic females. Learning how to navigate them is an important skill to have throughout your career.

Before I delve deeper into this topic, I want to make it very clear that are plenty of amazing, supportive women in the workforce, and I’ve been very lucky to work with a number of them. They aren’t threatened by other women, and instead they go above and beyond to help others succeed. They are true role models. This article isn’t about them. I could have written an entire series of articles about the supportive women who have mentored me throughout my career. This article is about those women in the workplace who do not have your best interests at heart, and how to protect yourself against them. It’s important to remember that while you cannot can’t change someone else, you can change your own behavior, and this article will teach you how to do just that. 
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