You might think the world of a dominatrix—with whips, chains and role-playing—has nothing to do with the corporate world, but author Lisa Robyn says you are wrong. Jean talks with Lisa about her new book The Corporate Dominatrix: Six Roles to Play to Get Your Way at Work.
As a public relations and publishing executive, Lisa says she learned early on that moving up the corporate ladder takes some strategy. While it may be surprising to some, Lisa says women often move ahead at work by taking on roles that mirror dominatrix role-playing in the world of sadomasochism. Lisa says by learning about these roles and applying them to the workplace, women can get what they want at work. "I feel that women need to be switchable in the workplace—they need to balance being assertive and strong with being flexible and compliant," she says.
To become a corporate dominatrix, Lisa says you need to understand the six different mistress archetypes, or roles, and assume them in different work situations to get what you want. "Professional dominatrixes are in the business of fantasy role-play, and what I'm trying to get women to do is realize their own personal professional fantasies," she says.
Here are the six roles of a corporate dominatrix:
The Goddess: "She is the high priestess," Lisa says. "She is very Zen, very centered." This type of woman, Lisa says, uses her personal power to get ahead.
The Queen: This woman is an empire builder—a very territorial person, but in a positive way. Lisa says the Queen uses her position and power to get ahead.
The Governess: "She is a disciplinarian, a mentor and a multitask mistress," Lisa says. Women who want to "keep their house in order" often take on this role, Lisa says.
The Amazon: These women are warriors, Lisa says, and they are ready to battle for what they need or want.
The Nurse: "She is very sensitive to what is going on, to nuance and morale," Lisa says. In this role, Lisa says you are responsive to emergencies, calm under pressure and take care of everyone with ease.
The Schoolgirl:. This could be someone in an entry-level position or someone in a higher position who needs to accommodate management, Lisa says. The schoolgirl essentially borrows her power to be effective.