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Caroline J. Walker walkerc at CLEMSON.EDU
Tue Nov 24 09:47:18 EST 1998

I absolutely agree that J. Frugoli's female lawyer was doing herself no
favors, and I don't think that any of us would advocate that her
self-deprecating was doing herself or her client any good.  We should all
obviously avoid that type of behavior!  But as I said, it IS possible to
combine confidence with modesty - and had the lawyer been able to acheive
this it might have been better for her with the Jury than if she had been
swaggering and self confident.
Susan wrote......

'So, here's MY question for Caroline: if the people who get rewarded are
the self-aggrandizing show-offs, and the people who do not blow their own
horn do not get rewarded or survive well in the field, how do you think
we should manage to get those good qualities acceptable and sought after
at work?
I think it would be great to improve the civility of teh profession, but
it isn't clear to me how to do that, if the people in control do not
agree (and they do not). As I frequently say, you have to get into the
system to effect change, and if you can't get in, ain't nothing going to

There is a  drawback to getting women to the top by having them play by the
current rules, and then expect them to turn around and start the
revolution:  often having made the sacrifices/attitude adjustments to reach
the top they have less sympathy for those in the pipeline.  Anyway, I do
not think that its women's failure to be self-aggrandizing show-offs which
is holding them back - there are so many other issues which complicate our
	I know people in my field who have been very successful who would
fit into the show-off category but others who are equally successful but
are more modest and frankly more pleasant to be around.  Should't we have
the self-confidence to say that modesty is a desirable quality and be proud
of the fact that we have a highly developped sense of good social behavior?
I don't think that sinking to someone elses level of behavior in order to
get ahead is a solution that many women (and men!) are comfortable with.
	So my answer to Susan is that I have not seen that it is compulsory
to be a self-aggrandizing show off to get ahead.  What it takes is
confidence.  If one choses to show that confidence in a more socially
acceptable manner, that's something to be proud of. There will always be
obnoxious people who will get ahead, and that's something that will never

	Another poster raised the interesting issue of Emotional
intelligence as opposed to IQ.  I saw an interview with the a guy who wrote
a book on this and he said that with two people of equivalent IQ in
equivalent jobs, it was the one with the higher EQ which was going to do
better careerwise.  EQ meant better social skills, empathy etc.  He was
suggesting that men need to learn these important skills and in general
were more poorly trained in this respect.  Doesn't this mean that we should
be at an advantage - does this poster (who had read about this) have any
comment ?

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