Book Club Questions

In your opinion, what is your vision of the ideal woman?

Share the career stories in your group.  What do you notice?  What is similar?  What is different?

What life stage are you currently in?  What are the key assumptions that are showing up for you?

Which Feminine Filter assumptions do you think you have bought into?  What have been some of the consequences of these assumptions? Which ones would you most like to eliminate or reframe?

Did the book inspire you to question your belief system?  If so, in what way?

The book talks a lot about perfectionism.  How does perfectionism show up in your life? Does it help make you successful?  How?  How does it inhibit your success?

Did the book challenge the perfection assumption for you?  How could you reframe your perfection assumption more positively?

Can you think of a time when you “wore the Sweater”? (knowingly picked up and put on someone else’s emotions.) How did it make you feel?  Now that you are aware of it, what could you do differently next time someone hands you an “Emotional Sweater”?

What is your personal Métier?  How much time and attention do you give it?

When was the last time you did something to work towards your Métier?

How are your household duties split?  Is the arrangement fair? Why?

Whose career / métier is more important in your household?  Why?

Did any part of the book make your angry?  Which part and why?

We talk a lot about negotiation as a tool to make your needs equal to others.   Do you think of negotiation only as big deals, those one-time events you need to prepare for and document (such as a salary negotiation)?  Or do you look at negotiation as something that happens dozens of times daily (such as who gets to pick where we go to dinner)?  How well do you think you do at negotiation?  How comfortable are you at expressing your needs and desires?  Do you put off negotiation hoping someone will just give you what you want without having to discuss it?  What can you do to feel more comfortable in all types of negotiations?

If you internalized the belief “I am important,” what would you like to do?

What have you done to expand your universe in the past 5 years?  What do you plan to do in the next 5?

How strong is your support system?  Could you lean on it to make a major life change?  (such as re-entry?  or heal from an illness?  or write a book? )

Stage-Specific Questions

For Women in the Green Start

What roles do you see for yourself in the future?  What is your path to achieve them?  What skills and experiences do you need to gain to achieve them?

Are you anticipating family? How does that affect your career at this point?

What do your parents do for a living?  What do you like/dislike about their choices?

How comfortable do you feel with yourself at this stage of your life?

What self-care routines or activities do you do?

Are you actively engaged in managing your career?  What self-promotion have you done so far?

How do you feel about the concept of walking a minute each mile, deliberately slowing your progress early to extend your long term endurance?  Do you find it hard?  What does this mean to you?

Do you consider yourself an “A-Player”?  What does this mean to you?  How does this compare to your peers?

Do you feel anxiety related to your performance?  Do you worry you are a fraud, that your accolades are unearned, or that you better follow the rules otherwise you will be fired?  Is this really true?  How much is perfectionism playing a role?

How do you feel about networking?  How much time do you invest in building your network each month?  What can you do to expand this effort?

For Women Approaching Burnout

Have you been in this situation before?  What helped you get through it?

What one thing can you give up right now that, while it might make you uncomfortable, won’t be the end of the world to stop doing?  What one thing can you ask someone else for help on right now?  What one thing can you do a less than 100% perfect job on right now?  Can anyone else in the room help with any of these items? (Either giving support or simply permission to let go?)

Who do you feel is putting the most pressure on you right now?  Is the pressure real or imagined?  Is it possible you have internalized their problems/issues/emotions?  Are you wearing someone else’s “Emotional Sweater”?

When was the last time you turned down a request?  How did it feel?  What was the impact?

How do you feel about delegating?  Does it make you uncomfortable?  How much time do you devote to managing the people you delegate things to?  How have your delegation and management skills improved over time?  Can you think of a few more things you could practice delegating?

Do you multi-task?  Do you answer your phone every time it rings?  Do you interrupt work to check email every time it comes in?  Do you pride yourself on fast response times to the requests of others?  How often do you switch tasks during a day?  Is there a way to reduce the amount of multi-tasking you do?

Do you feel you are the only one who can do what you do?  What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Where could you give yourself space to rejuvenate?  When you have done that for yourself in the past, what did you enjoy?  What was the benefit of this space for you previously?

For Women in Family Matters

How has your life changed since having a family? (applies also to caring for an aging parent or sick person)

Has this change affected everyone in your family equally?  (ie. Is your brother also shouldering some of the responsibility for your aging parent?  Is your spouse sharing equally with you?)

How do you divide up tasks in your household?  Are there things you are doing that could be delegated?  Are there things you are doing that are probably unnecessary?  What tasks can you do less than perfectly right now?

What is your vision of ideal motherhood?  If you play this out forward (e.g. as the children age), what are some of the implications?

What are the underlying assumptions to perfect motherhood?

What are the underlying assumptions to perfect caregiving?

Would you be willing to do an experiment and let something be less than perfect (e.g. the clothes the children wear, the quality of dinner, missing a deadline, etc.)?  If you said yes, try it and see what happens.  If you said no, what is the personal cost for you to ensure everything goes smoothly?

For Women on Sabbatical

How much do “you” play a part in your family’s priorities?

Do you have a personal retirement savings plan (aside from your husband’s)?

Do you have an independent credit rating (aside from your husband’s)?

Do you have a backup plan if you were to find yourself unmarried at some point?

Do you have a career re-entry plan?  When was the last time you worked on it?

What role modeling occurs in your household for boys and girls?  Does it break the historical paradigm or reinforce it?

Would your husband be willing to take a sabbatical from his career?  Why or why not?

For Women in Re-Entry

Do you have support from your family and friends for your decision to reenter?

What career-related experiences did you accumulate or relationships did you develop while on sabbatical?

Did you plan to re-enter at this point or did something change your plans?  How have you adapted to any changes in your path?

What are you most excited about in your re-entry?  What are you nervous about?

What is your medium term goal for your career?  What would an average day look and feel like (in the abstract)?

For Women in Mid-Career Transition

What is prompting your dissatisfaction with your career right now?

How has menopause affected your thinking about work and your career?

When was the last time you gave serious time and energy to career planning?

What do you enjoy most about the work you have done up until this point?  How can you parley that into something meaningful in the future?

Where do you excel?

How do you envision your contribution for this next stage?

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