The Confidence Code

The Confidence Code

The Science and Art of Self-assurance-- What Women Should Know

Book - 2014
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"Working women today are better educated and more well qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence. Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition--with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business--Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to "lean in."Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve" -- from publisher's web site
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperBusiness, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062230621
006223062X
Characteristics: xxi, 232 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Shipman, Claire

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padocarl
Jan 30, 2017

Was really looking forward to this book (as you can imagine, my confidence is less than stellar so I was looking for ways to improve it). This read was a little more scientific than I was expecting. Although there were some great points (you need to take action and possibly fail), I didn't feel as though I walked away with many tangible ideas.

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HereHere
May 01, 2015

This book is worth skimming. Interesting interviews with scientists, etc. But the conclusion comes down to: just do it, take more risks in meetings and in life. This will nurture your confidence.
I don't believe newleaf read the entire book, as the authors specifically state that we aren't going to be confidence by imitating men. There is evidence that some of confidence is genetic, but much of it has to do with early life experiences and whether those prevent us from taking risks (often they do, and men seem to care less about the risk than women - in general. They note in the forward that of course they talk in generalities but it is to be understood that there are always exceptions (men who are more less confident, women who are more so).

n
newleaf
Mar 14, 2015

As I read this book, (and see 21 people on the waiting list behind me), I must comment. This book, at most, serves as a compilation of casual, chatty facts written on aircraft, trains, and Starbucks tables, by part-time mommy-track journalists, while doing their "real" job. They base their views via "off-the-cuff" comments of some immensely talented and successful women to *prove* that women lack confidence. They compare male confidence (seen as effective), and look for ways to adapt it to women. They miss the point entirely that many of those male behaviours they exemplify as "confident" are innate behaviors, learned from childhood, or just pure posturing and have nothing to do with true confidence. This is something that women can't (nor should they want to) imitate.
For true confidence, whether male or female, there are better sources to consult. And for many, the road to confidence can start by identifying and dealing with underlying issues, i.e.: repressed childhood events, negative self-image, current personal issues, etc., which these individuals dismiss.
The superficial "one size fits all" Walmart approach of the book renders it light reading, at best.

e
EricaReynolds
Dec 02, 2014

While this book does cover much of the same territory as other popular titles such as Lean In and Women Don't Ask, and I did have some quibbles with some of their analysis and wishing they would dive in a bit more--as a whole, I very much recommend this book. I think many successful women will see themselves in this book, and will appreciate the research, practical advice and encouragement to be one's best, authentic self while side-stepping perfectionism, the impulse to try to over-compensate with bluster, and negative thoughts that can spin out of control and undercut confidence. A great title for a parents' book club.

MariePat Aug 08, 2014

Didn't learn much.

rowanquincy Aug 01, 2014

Just skims the surface. I was disappointed.

ksoles May 28, 2014

In their 2009 best-seller, "Womenomics," BBC World News correspondent Katty Kay and Good Morning America contributor Claire Shipman argued for a woman's right to demand flexibility in the workplace. With "The Confidence Code," they now offer an insightful look into how internalizing cultural stereotypes can hinder a woman's career advancement.

After interviewing many successful professional women, the authors found a disturbing pattern: compared with men, most women didn't consider themselves ready for promotion. They harboured the false belief that they should neither appear too aggressive nor "cause any bother" in order to reap rewards. Women hope their natural talents and silent hard work will catch their superiors' attention but, in reality, their careers tend to prematurely plateau without the self-assertiveness and confidence that propel their male counterparts.

Where does such self-doubt and docility come from? Kay and Shipman's investigation took them from the courts of the WNBA to the fortress of the International Monetary Fund and a conversation with its president, Christine Lagarde, one of the most powerful women in the world. Their interviews ultimately confirmed the authors' beliefs about the significant contrast between the typical male approach of pushing forward aggressively in the form of dominating meetings, for example, and that of women, who hold back due to numerous factors: a lack of resilience, a drive for perfection and a tendency to dwell on past mistakes.

After discussions with neuropsychologists and geneticists, the authors dismiss the importance of biological components; more important is choice. Does pleasing fewer people, acting more impulsively and risking failure justify getting ahead?

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