TIME leadership

12 Behaviors That Successful Leaders Should Never Tolerate

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Tolerance is a virtue — most of the time

By and large, tolerance is a good trait. The differences we encounter enrich our lives and organizations. But to attain a successful life and meaningful leadership, we must refuse to tolerate the things that deplete, and ultimately destroy, us.

Start by declaring these things intolerable in yourself and those around you—and see what changes as a result.

1. Dishonesty

Living an honest life allows you to be at peace with others and yourself. Dishonesty imposes a false reality on your life and those around you.

2. Boredom

Successful people are generally exploring something new. Life is too short for inactivity and staying in your comfort zone.

3. Mediocrity

It’s easy, and a constant temptation, to settle for less. But what makes some people stand out is their willingness to make the hard choices that allow a life of greatness.

4. Negativity

Every negative thought keeps you from being your best. If you hear yourself complaining, out loud or to yourself, find a way to shut it down.

5. Toxicity

At work or at home, a toxic environment will literally make you sick. If it doesn’t feel right, if it makes you tired or fills you with dread, cut yourself loose.

6. Disorganization

Clutter and disorder cause stress and affect your emotional and mental well-being. Get rid of what you don’t need and keep everything else where it belongs.

7. Unhealthy anything

Unhealthy food, unhealthy relationship, unhealthy habits—choose what you do wisely. Remind yourself that you deserve better, and then give yourself better.

8. Regrets

We all have regrets, but you can’t move toward your future if you’re dwelling on the past. Learn from it, right any wrongs where you can, and leave it behind.

9. Disrespect

Relationships are at the heart of success, and respect is at the heart of good relationships. Disrespect—whatever the form and whomever it’s directed toward—is one of the most destructive forces you can harbor.

10. Distrust

Distrust often arrives through a succession of little compromises here and there, so be watchful. Focus on building your own integrity and surround yourself with others who do the same.

11. Anger

We all feel anger, and in its place it can move you to action. But holding onto anger is paralyzing and accomplishes nothing. Learn to direct anger toward problems, not people, and then get over it.

12. Control

Don’t worry about the things you can’t control. Focus your energy where it can do good, and learn to let go of the rest.

Pay attention to the difference between the things that are truly positive in your life and the things you just let happen.

Remember, you are sum of what you tolerate!

TIME Careers & Workplace

6 Body Language Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

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How to make sure you’re always sending the right message to your colleagues

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

You’ve got a pretty mean poker face. You wouldn’t have made it this far in your career if you hadn’t become the master of stifling an ill-timed laugh or shaping your blank stare into something a little more musing.

But science has shown that’s not enough. Princeton University researchers have demonstrated that we subconsciously rely on body language more than facial expression for identifying emotions. This supports the oft-cited statistic produced by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, noted pioneer of nonverbal communication, that body language accounts for 55% of the messages you communicate.

Maybe you’ve heard a few maxims from HR professionals—“Don’t cross your arms,” or “maintain good eye contact”—but you don’t know exactly why these moves are so important in your work relationships. Well, it’s time you found out!

Here are the six body language moves that can seriously sabotage collaboration—and how to make sure you’re always sending the right message to your colleagues.

1. Pointing Your Feet Away From Others

Dr. Carol Kinsey Gorman suggests that while you’ll usually focus on the face you’re making as well as your upper body, you often ignore your feet—which are often just as telling of your emotional intentions.

You might think that sounds absurd: Who would notice something as trivial as where your feet are pointing? But foot-positioning is a signal that we all register subconsciously in social situations. For example, maybe your body is facing the person you’re talking to, but your feet—or even just one foot—are pointing away from him or her. This is an obvious signal that you’ve already checked out of the conversation.

So, next time you’re trying to look fully engaged, make sure that both of your feet are pointed at the person you’re speaking with.

2. Crossing Your Legs, Arms, or Feet

Unsurprisingly, physically closing yourself off suggests to others that you’re also mentally closed off. Crossed arms, for example, are often perceived as a signal of distance, insecurity, anxiety, defensiveness, or stubbornness.

If you want to encourage open communication and participation, you have to first signal that you’re open and engaged. Standing at the front of a room giving a speech? Focus on your body language and resist the urge to cross your arms or legs while taking questions.

That said, while crossing your arms isn’t good in a group setting, it does have its neurological benefits. Research completed by Ron Friedman and Andrew J. Elliott found that individuals are 30% more likely to stay on a difficult task if their arms are crossed. So, feel free to cross your arms while you think—in the privacy of your own cubicle.

3. Striking a Power Pose

Power posing—or puffing up your chest and stretching out your limbs to make yourself seem larger—is great way to pump yourself up, whether before a job interview or prior to public speaking.

But, doing this in public is equally as likely to stifle collaboration as closing yourself off. Connson Locke and Cameron Anderson recently published a study that showed that leaders who demonstrate a powerful demeanor inadvertently stifle participation. Locke and Anderson found that the more powerful a demeanor the leader displayed, the less likely followers were to participate in joint discussions.

So, if you want to hear what your team thinks, lean in toward others while they’re speaking, especially if you’re seated or at a table, which signals that you’re interested and invested in the conversation. Resist the urge to strike an alpha pose: If Superman would do it, save it for when you’re flying solo.

4. Looking Uninterested (or Too Intently)

Yes, it’s obvious that ignoring people will make them feel, well, ignored. You’d never do that. You may multitask, but—oh wait—yes, reading emails while listening to someone is the same as flat-out ignoring him or her.

The thing is, it just doesn’t look like you’re invested in the conversation. Remember that 55% of communication we talked about earlier? Even if you’re listening, you’re sending the message that you’re not interested. So, put down your laptop, phone, or any other distractions, and make eye contact with your colleagues.

Just don’t go so far as to overdo the eye contact. In a recent study, psychologists Julia Minson and Frances Chen demonstrated that people are less likely to be persuaded to agree with you when you make eye contact—it triggers a primal reaction, and people feel like you’re trying to dominate them. Experts suggest that making eye contact about 60% of the time is optimal.

5. Forgetting to Nod

Nodding is almost universally perceived as a sign of encouragement and acceptance. Robotics researchers seeking to facilitate smooth human-robot interaction have identified head nodding and tilting as essential components of successful dialogue.

If nodding can humanize a robot, imagine what it can do for you!

While leadership experts may advise against nodding (as it detracts from your leonine image), it’s an essential tool for encouraging collaboration. Particularly when asking a shy employee to contribute, nod or tilt your head to establish agreement and encouragement.

6. Failing to Mirror

Limbic synchrony, or “mirroring,” naturally occurs in conversations when you feel connected and engaged. Mirroring is as it sounds—it means reflecting the gestures and postures of the person you’re engaging with. On the flip side, a failure to mirror the body language of your team members subconsciously communicates disengagement and dissent.

For example, if you notice a notoriously hard to engage co-worker is resting his chin in his palm while he listens, you might do the same. Look to see if your teammates are taking notes, or if a potential client uses a lot of hand gestures when she speaks (or none at all). Mirroring these actions will make others feel more comfortable with you.

Additionally, scientists at Stanford University found that “matching” gestures between team members was indicative of increased creativity and problem-solving. Scientists tasked a pair with brainstorming and found that the more a team’s movements were synchronized, the more creative the ideas the pair came up with.

Sometimes, it can feel like you’re just not clicking with your team. Practicing the techniques above can help you be more successful with future collaborations.

More from The Muse:

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TIME psychology

The 10 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make in a Job Negotiation

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Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

1) Not Negotiating

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

…the overarching theme to successful job negotiations is to be respectful and reasonable at all times. Be sure to keep this guiding principle before you, and then jump in. There is some truth to the adage that you get half of what you ask for, and none of what you don’t.

2) Not preparing effectively for the job negotiation

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

…Preparation involves knowing your minimum needs and your alternatives to the negotiation (another offer in the wings, staying put at your current job, unemployment, etc.). In addition, you should do your homework and know a lot about the company, their business, and their style of negotiating (in part by talking to as many insiders as you can both before and during the interview process)

3) Talking about numbers (that is, negotiating) too soon in the process

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

don’t jump the gun by either putting your own numbers on the table first or by getting too far in the process without written confirmation of the details.

4) Paying too much attention to the base salary number at the expense of other issues

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

Focus on a good balance between the long-term gains (career building, relationships and/or family needs) and short-term gains (salary, bonuses).

5) Not explaining why you want what you are requesting, and not framing it to seem fair

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

Remember that you will want to provide a rational justification for every one of your requests. Not only does it make you seem more reasonable, but it may help the hiring manager justify the concession to other inside the firm, or finding another way to meet the underlying interests.

6) Asking for too much “just to see”

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

Remember that the company you are dealing with is looking at you as a potential colleague in addition to negotiating your contract, so pay attention to the impression that you are making.

7) Missing details by not listening carefully or by getting overwhelmed

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

Make sure you place your full attention on everything the other side is saying, and are not thinking ahead to the next question you want to ask. Take a break from the negotiation any time you feel emotions getting the better of you, or feel your attention waning for any other reason.

8) Sending unclear signals

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

Remember that you are in sales from the moment you send your resume until the day you start the job. Part of what you need to sell is your enthusiasm for the job and the company. Don’t fall into the all-too-common trap of letting your negotiating nerves come across as indifference about the job.

9) Giving too much information to a headhunter or other intermediary

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

Two general strategies will help you use a headhunter most effectively: 1) as much as possible, proceed offer by offer without giving absolutes about where your actual cutoff values are (that is, the minimum you would take); and 2) maintain a direct line of communication with the hiring manager even when going through a headhunter. This way, there is a “backup” channel of communication in case things do not proceed smoothly through the headhunter.

10) Lying or misrepresenting yourself in any way

Via The Essentials of Job Negotiations: Proven Strategies for Getting What You Want:

This strategy could work for you, but it could also backfire and have some pretty unpleasant consequences.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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TIME life hacks

How Not to Be ‘Manterrupted’ in Meetings

2009 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images Kanye West takes the microphone from Taylor Swift and speaks onstage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 13, 2009

A guide for women, men and bosses

Manterrupting: Unnecessary interruption of a woman by a man.

Bropropriating: Taking a woman’s idea and taking credit for it.

We all remember that moment back in 2009, when Kanye West lunged onto the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards, grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift, and launched into a monologue. “I’m gonna let you finish,” he said as he interrupted Swift as she was accepting the award for best female video. “But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”

It was perhaps the most public example of the “manterruption” – that is, a man interrupting a woman while she’s trying to speak (in this case, on stage, by herself, as an award honoree) and taking over the floor. At the VMAs it might have counted as entertainment, but ask any woman in the working world and we all recognize the phenomenon. We speak up in a meeting, only to hear a man’s voice chime in louder. We pitch an idea, perhaps too uncertainly – only to have a dude repeat it with authority. We may possess the skill, but he has the right vocal cords – which means we shut up, losing our confidence (or worse, the credit for the work).

We might have thought we were just being paranoid. But thanks to Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton business school professor Adam Grant (a man!) we can feel just a little less crazy when we mentally replay those meetings gone wrong. In a new op-ed in the New York Times, they point out the perils of “speaking while female,” along with a bevy of new research to prove that no, this is not all in our heads. (Disclaimer: I edit special projects for Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, LeanIn.Org. Though I did not edit her Times op-ed.)

Sandberg and Grant cite research showing that powerful male Senators speak significantly more than their junior colleagues, while female Senators do not. That male executives who speak more often than their peers are deemed more competent (by 10%), while female executives who speak up are considered less (14% less). The data follows a long line of research showing that when it comes to the workplace, women speak less, are interrupted more, and have their ideas more harshly scrutinized.

“We’ve both seen it happen again and again,” Sandberg and Grant write. “When a woman speaks in a professional setting, she walks a tightrope. Either she’s barely heard or she’s judged as too aggressive. When a man says virtually the same thing, heads nod in appreciation for his fine idea.”

My friends have come up with terminology for it: Manterrupting. Manstanding. (Or talk-blocking, if you want the gender-neutral version.)

And the result? Women hold back. That, or we relinquish credit altogether. Our ideas get co-opted (bro-opted), re-appropriated (bro-propriated?) — or they simply fizzle out. We shut down, become less creative, less engaged. We revert into ourselves, wondering if it’s actually our fault. Enter spiral of self-doubt.

But there are things we can do to stop that cycle: women, men, and even bosses.

Know That We’re All a Little Bit Sexist — and Correct for It

The reality is that we all exhibit what scholars call “unconscious bias” — ingrained prejudices we may not even know we have. (Don’t think you’re among the culprits? Take this Implicit Association Test to be proved wrong.) When it comes to women, that bias is the result of decades of history; we’ve been taught that men lead and women nurture. So when women exhibit male traits – you know, decision-making, authority, leadership – we often dislike them, while men who exhibit those same traits are frequently deemed strong, masculine, and competent. It’s not only men who exhibit this bias, it’s women too: as one recent study found, it’s not just men who interrupt women more at work — it’s women too. But acknowledging that bias is an important step toward correcting for it.

Establish a No-Kanye Rule (Or Any Interruption, for That Matter)

When Glen Mazarra, a showrunner at The Shield, an FX TV drama from the early 2000s, noticed that his female writers weren’t speaking up in the writer’s room – or that when they did, they were interrupted and their ideas overtaken — he instituted a no-interruption policy while writers (male or female) were pitching. “It worked, and he later observed that it made the entire team more effective,” Sandberg and Grant wrote.

Practice Bystander Intervention

Seriously, stop an interrupter in his (or her) tracks. Nudge him, elbow him, or simply speak up to say, “Wait, let her finish,” or “Hey, I want to hear what Jess is saying.” The words are your choice — but don’t stay silent.

Create a Buddy System With a Friend

Or, better yet, if you’re a woman, create a buddy system with a friend who is a dude. Ask him to nod and look interested when you speak (when he’s interested, of course). Let him to back you up publicly in meetings. Seriously, try it. It’s not fair, no. But dammit, it works.

Support Your (Female) Colleagues

If you hear an idea from a woman that you think is good, back her up. You’ll have more of an effect than you think and you’ll establish yourself as a team player too.

Give Credit Where It’s Due

Yes, everyone wants credit for a good idea. But research shows that giving credit where it’s due will actually make you look better (as well as the person with the idea).

Women: Practice Assertive Body Language

Sit at the table, point to someone, stand up, walk to the front of the room, place your hand on the table — whatever it takes. Not only do these high-power poses make you appear more authoritative, but they actually increase your testosterone levels – and thus, your confidence. In some cases, it may actually help to literally “lean in”: in one study, researchers found that men physically lean in more often than women in professional meetings, making them less likely to be interrupted. Women more often leaned away — and were more likely to be interrupted.

… And Own Your Voice

Don’t undermine your authority with “I’m not sure if this is right, but—.” Speak authoritatively. Avoid the baby voice (leadership and authority are associated with the deep masculine voice, not with a softer, higher pitched tone). And please, whatever you do, don’t apologize before you speak.

Support Companies With Women in Power

We know that companies with more women on their corporate boards have higher outcomes and better returns. Teams with more diverse members perform better too. But having more women in power may actually encourage women to bring their ideas forward. In one study cited by Sandberg and Grant, researchers looked at the employees of a credit union where women made up 74% of supervisors and 84% of front-line employees. Shocker: women here were more likely to speak up, and be heard.

If all else fails, you can always learn how to talk really, really loud.

Jessica Bennett is a contributing columnist at Time.com covering the intersection of gender, sexuality, business and pop culture. She writes regularly for the New York Times and is a contributing editor on special projects for Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, Lean In. You can follow her @jess7bennett.

Read next: A Better Feminism for 2015

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TIME Careers & Workplace

The Most Important Thing You’re Not Doing at Work (and How to Get Started)

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Make a weekly appointment to go over your notes

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

“Write this down—it’s going to be on the final exam,” said no boss ever.

Note-taking is an unsung challenge of moving from school to the workplace—we’re in a completely new environment, with totally different reasons for note-taking and different needs for how we’ll use our notes later on, yet most of us are relying on the methods we used in our high school history class.

And while it’s rare that anyone will lose a job for not taking notes on something, the small, ongoing effect of bad notes (or skipping notes completely) can really hurt your career. How many times have you had to email your boss, a colleague, or a client asking a question about something she talked about in a meeting the other day because you forgot it? That’s hurting that relationship—not to mention everyone’s productivity. (Side note: Here are a few more things that bosses really don’t like.)

On the flip side, taking notes is an incredible way to show respect to people. It shows you’re listening and that you think what they are saying is important. Your notes serve as your guide to doing your job better, too; you can easily refer to the important information you need to succeed whenever you need it, without delay.

And a secret bonus, taking notes actually makes you smarter. When you have a collection of thorough, thoughtful notes all in one place (that you actually revisit from time to time), you start to see connections between things you otherwise wouldn’t have seen and have information that other people don’t retain. This is how you’ll get great ideas, form new connections, and become the kind of innovator and leader who makes things really happen on your team.

All in all, taking notes is a really subtle, but powerful, way to make yourself more successful—but very few of us get any guidance on how to transition our note-taking style to work at work. That’s why today I want to share with you a quick-start guide to taking amazing notes in your professional life.

1. Know When to Take Notes at Work

Not every situation at work calls for note-taking, but there are certainly times when I would highly recommend pulling out your pen and paper. In general, my advice is always to err on the side of taking notes and just decide later whether or not you need to keep them, but here are some of the key times when you’ll want to jot some things down:

One-on-One Meetings

Whether you’re the boss or the employee, taking notes shows you’re taking the time seriously. It’s also a good time to make note of personal details like your manager’s spouse’s name, which is good stuff to remember to help you form a more meaningful relationship with people at work.

Big Conversations

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in what’s going on during a big brainstorming or problem-solving session that you actually don’t retain anything when you walk out of the room. Make a point to take notes, even if you’re participating a lot, to ensure you hold on to critical information.

Client Meetings

Bringing a notebook is always a good idea so you can record every detail a client or customer needs. Better to have too much information and pare it down later than to miss out on something really important.

Meetings With Your Mentors or Contacts

Even a simple coffee meeting should be recorded. Show the person you value his or her time and expertise by writing it down; plus, if this is a rare meeting, you’ll want to make sure you remember everything since you might not get time with this person again soon. You can also use your notes to follow up in a more meaningful way—like sending a valuable link or article related to something you discussed in your meeting.

2. Find a Note-Taking Style You Love

There are no rules when it comes to how you take your notes. There’s no proof that any style works any better than another style—the best kind of notes are the ones that will make sense to you later, whatever they look like.

Here are a few of the most popular note-taking styles that you can try out to find what works for you.

Lists

This is the most traditional kind of note-taking. You start at the top of the page with the main meeting topic, and then continue your list down with sub-heads as other topics come up.

Leave space between sub-heads as you go, since the meeting may circle back to a topic (or you may have questions or new ideas you want to record), and you will want to have space to add information without making your list sloppy or confusing.

You can also create headings for things like action items, to-dos, decisions made, and any important resources or tools you need to hold onto, so you can have a really actionable list to refer to later on.

Mind Maps

If you’re a visual thinker, try a mind map. Start by writing the topic of the meeting at the center of the page. From there, draw branches out to every key topic discussed.

For example, you might write “Kickstarter launch” at the center of your page, and then draw branches out for topics like “press outreach” and “launch day timeline.” Continue drawing branches out for subtopics (getting increasingly detailed), and at the end you’ll have a visual representation of the meeting’s most important points.

A Trail of Breadcrumbs

This is the most intensive form of note-taking, but it’s incredibly effective. When you employ this strategy, take notes as if you are going to give them to someone who wasn’t there in the meeting.

Write down every topic as it comes up, and then record every point raised related to that topic. You don’t have to write every word that’s said; use short phrases, and pay special attention to things like specific tools or resources.

This is a great strategy for people who get anxious during meetings, since it’s keeps your hands busy. As long as you make eye contact from time to time, no one will mind you taking such thorough notes.

3. Organize Your Notes So You Can Revisit Them Later (and Become Amazing)

One of the biggest struggles people have with note-taking is keeping their notes organized in a way that they can actually revisit in a valuable way later. Note-taking on its own isn’t enough to improve retention or understanding—you have to actually revisit your notes and cement the information in your mind in order to make it valuable.

This means that if your notes are all over the place or completely disorganized, you might as well not be taking them at all. Here are some of the best ways to keep your notes organized and to make the time you spend with them truly valuable for moving your career forward.

Always Keep Your Notes in the Same Place

The easiest way to keep your notes organized is to keep them in one place. No more typing some things into a Google doc and keeping a random pile of sticky notes on your desk. While there are many options for this, paper is ideal so that you’re not keeping a screen in between you and the person you’re meeting with.Plus, actually writing things out with your hand helps with retention.

So, invest in a notebook—one that you love, that you’ll take with you everywhere, and that has the versatility you need for the many situations you’ll need to take notes in.

Keep the Same Format

Above, we went over three of the top note-taking styles that work well for professional settings. Find the style that works for you and stick with it; this will make skimming over your notes later much easier.

Whichever style you choose, write critical information at the top of every page—the date, meeting attendees, and meeting topic on every page of notes that relates to that meeting—so it’s easy to track.

Make a Weekly Appointment to Go Over Your Notes

It’s hard to find time to revisit your notes, even if you want to, with the constant stream of things that demand your attention and are a higher priority every week. So set a recurring meeting on your calendar to go over your notes once a week. Even 15 minutes is enough time to look at what you recorded.

When you go over your notes, write down any questions you have or any open issues that still need to be resolved. This is also a good time to prepare for any upcoming meetings you have. Write down questions you want to make sure get answered or any important information you think you’ll need to have on-hand.
How much more could you accomplish if you always had the right answer at your fingertips? Consistency is the key to success; the more small, good habits (like great note-taking) that you can develop, the more you’ll be able to grow every single day. This week, try taking notes in every meeting and see if it makes it any easier to have good ideas fast or to get more done.

More from the Muse:

MONEY salary negotiation

The Single Best Thing Women Can Do to Bust through the Glass Ceiling

female and male coworkers holding up signs, female's reads -50% and male's reads 150%
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Talk to a guy before you name your number in salary negotiations.

This is the fifth in a series of six posts on salary negotiation published in partnership with PayScale.com.

The latest Census data shows that women earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by our male counterparts. You’d think we’d be livid.

But in fact, while many of us are angry about this inequity in a general sense, several studies have shown that women are not all that upset about being underpaid on an individual basis. The research shows that women report the same levels of satisfaction with pay as their better-paid male colleagues, even when controlled for occupation and position in the food chain.

Academics call this (frankly depressing) phenomenon “the paradox of the contented female worker.”

Those in the ivory tower have been attempting to explain this since social psychologist Faye Crosby coined the term some 40 years ago. But one recent study of Texas attorneys published in the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal offers a plausible—and interesting—explanation.

Survey participants tended to base satisfaction with their salaries on the salaries of those people who were similar and proximate, says the study’s author H. Kristl Davison, an assistant professor of management at the University of Mississippi. “So essentially what happens,” she says, “is that women choose other women who are also lower paid as references and then end up with a lower sense of entitlement to more money.”

In other words, we are undervaluing our work because other women are undervaluing their work. And so the vicious underpayment cycle continues…

So how do you break that cycle, at least where your own lovely pocketbook is concerned?

The clearest implication of the study is this: When setting your expectation for pay for a job, don’t base your desired number on anecdotal evidence from your female peers.

Instead, start by gathering data from sites like Payscale to find out the average pay for the field, position, and location, regardless of gender. But—since women’s lower pay will be figured into these averages—also ask higher-level men in your field for their input.

“Asking male mentors can be very advantageous,” says Davison, “because it offers the perspective on what males are paid and because males talk about pay more than women do.”

You could say something like, “Bob, I’m going for this job as associate marketing director at a Fortune 500 company and they’re asking me for my salary requirements. I’m not sure what to say for that size of a company and wondered if you had any thoughts?”

(While mentioning a figure can help anchor the conversation in actual negotiations, avoid doing so here, since what you want is the other person’s uninfluenced opinion.)

And then when the interviewer asks for your salary expectation, you can say, “It’s my understanding from my research that jobs of this level pay in the neighborhood of $96,500,” or “I consulted my former boss Bob Smith, who’s now a V.P. at your competitor Quadroodle, and he told me the going rate is $96,500.”

(Note: Using a specific the number can make you sound more authoritative—so avoid rounding off too much.)

In a world where women all too often punished for being too assertive in salary negotiations, framing your argument around benchmark numbers and using a high-level ally to bolster your case can help you walk away with more money and your likeability in tact.

And that is the ultimate glass-ceiling breakthrough.


More from this series on Money.com:
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More on salary negotiation from PayScale.com:

MONEY Jobs

The 5 Best Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of

Medical Equipment Repair Technician
Sigrid Gombert—Getty Images

If you're itching for a career change in 2015, here are some fast-growing, high-paying options that have yet to hit the mainstream.

Good news, job seekers: employment opportunities look bright in 2015. Staffing levels are expected to rise 19%, according to ManpowerGroup’s annual Employment Outlook Survey. Robust hiring gains are forecast for the “usual suspects,” says Payscale.com’s vice president Tim Low—namely retail, healthcare, and technology. But peel back those broad categories, and you’ll uncover high demand for unique talents and skill sets and a bunch of new jobs you may not even know existed.

“As we shift away from conventional jobs and move forward into the information economy, there are a growing number of opportunities for workers to transfer skills in seemingly unrelated fields,” says Stephanie Thomas, researcher and program director at the Institute for Compensation Studies at Cornell University.

Additionally, job titles are becoming more diverse, says Scott Dobroski, career trends analyst at Glassdoor, an employer review website. “Employers are looking for innovative ways to do business and are therefore [allocating money] to brand-new positions,” he says.

So if you’re itching for a change in 2015, here are some ways to break into these high-paying, still-under-the-radar careers—all of which are growing at a rate far greater than the 11% national average.

1. If you’re an: executive assistant or medical administrator, consider becoming a… NUCLEAR MEDICINE TECHNOLOGIST

What it is: Don’t let the title scare you off; the position only calls for a degree from an accredited program, so no med school required. This health care professional operates specialized equipment including computed tomography (CT) scanners, gamma cameras, positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, and other imaging tools that physicians and surgeons use to diagnose conditions and plan treatments.

How your skills translate: Attention to detail and good interpersonal skills—already at the heart of your current job—are crucial. Nuclear medicine technologists must follow instructions to the letter when operating equipment; even a minor error can result in overexposure to radiation. A background in math and/or science is a plus.

Why it’s growing: “Jobs are developing rapidly at the intersection of health care and technology,” says John Reed, senior executive director at IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology.

Education requirements: 2-year associate’s degree and 1- to 4-year accreditation program. For more information on requirements, check out the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), or use this state-by-state map for a list of accredited programs in your region.

Average salary: $71,120

Projected job growth through 2022: 20%

2. If you’re a mechanic, handyman, or computer repairer, consider becoming a… MEDICAL EQUIPMENT REPAIRER

What it is: Someone who installs, maintains, and repairs patient care equipment. However, given the sensitive nature of medical technology, specialized repair skills are required. These can be obtained through an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering; workers who operate less-complicated equipment (e.g., hospital beds and electric wheelchairs), meanwhile, can typically learn entirely on the job.

How your skills translate: Troubleshooting, dexterity, analytical thinking, and technical expertise—skills already in your toolbox—make for an efficient medical equipment repairer.

Why it’s growing: The increasing demand for health care services assures rapid growth for this specialty.

Education requirements: Typically a 2-year degree in biomedical equipment technology or engineering. Go here for information about obtaining a certification for Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET).

Average salary: $44,180

Projected job growth through 2022: 30%

3. If you’re an IT specialist, computer programmer, or Web developer, consider becoming a… DIGITAL RISK OFFICER

What it is: To prevent data breaches—and better protect sensitive client and customer information—employers are beefing up their cyber security forces. A digital risk officer proactively assesses risks and implements security measures.

Why it’s growing: Recent hacks at Sony, Target, and Home Depot have put more companies on high alert. “Regardless of industry or size, if you have sensitive client information, you have to look carefully at what your security threats are,” says Cornell’s Thomas.

How your skills translate: Your analytical mindset, computer savvy, and problem-solving skills apply to the core responsibility of a digital risk officer: outthinking cybercriminals.

Education requirements: 2- or 4-year degree in IT and digital analytics certification. You’ll likely start as an information security analyst and need to complete a risk assessment training program as well.

Average salary: $153,602 for a chief risk officer, according to Payscale estimates.

Projected job growth: The field is so new that specific data isn’t available, but by 2017, one-third of large employers with a digital component will employ a digital risk officer, reports IT research firm Gartner.

4. If you’re a nutritionist, rehabilitation counselor, or athletic trainer, consider becoming a… HEALTH-AND-WELLNESS EDUCATOR

What it is: Previously outsourced, many companies are now hiring in-house specialists to offer health-and-wellness advice and services, says Brie Reynolds, director of online content at FlexJobs.com, which saw a spike in job postings for this position. The educator works with employees individually to assess personal health issues and create strategies tailored to each person’s needs.

Why it’s growing. Health improvements made by employees not only curb insurance costs but also boost job satisfaction, a key ingredient to retaining talent. Some employers are tying financial incentives to health-and-wellness achievements—discounting health insurance premiums for employees who lose weight, quit smoking, or lower blood pressure, among other behavioral changes.

How your skills translate: Pure and simple, you’re a “people person.” Your ability to connect with individuals and motivate them to make behavioral changes will come in handy when promoting healthy living strategies to workers.

Education requirements: 4-year degree and health education specialist certification. The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing has information on requirements and eligibility.

Average salary: $62,280

Projected job growth through 2022: 21%

5. If you’re a management consultant, consider becoming an… INDUSTRIAL-ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST

What it is: Companies hire industrial-organizational psychologists to improve work performance, job satisfaction, and skills training. This person is responsible for managing and developing a range of programs, including hiring systems, performance measurement, and health-and-safety policies.

How your skills translate: Your ability to assess an organization’s structural efficiency will serve you well in your new job. Like you, an industrial-organizational psychologist must work well with corporate clients to identify areas for improvement and increased profitability.

Why it’s growing: While not new, this lesser-known job tops the BLS’s list of the fastest-growing occupations. Chalk it up to its track record of success; surveys show the position effectively boosts work performance and improves employee retention rates.

Education requirements: Master’s degree. Check out Careers in Psychology for more information.

Average salary: $80,330

Projected job growth through 2022: 53%

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the equipment that nuclear medicine technologists can operate. They can operate CT and PET scanners but require additional certification to operate MRI equipment.

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