Dr. Solange Charas
Episode 15: The Getting Along Paradigm
Getting ahead or getting along at work—which approach is best? Well, according to Dr. Solange Charas, getting along in turn creates a successful team-oriented environment where companies are, in fact, getting ahead. Solange is the CEO of Charas Consulting, providing advisory services to boards and C-suite executives. She’s also a member of the Thirty Percent Coalition (see podcast: Let’s Get to 30%).
According to Solange, women by nature focus on getting along at work, whereas men tend to place importance on getting ahead. But in the long run, cultures that promote teamwork rather than individual gains are going to win. “We shouldn’t be asking women to change who they are to fit into organizations,” Solange says. “That’s a losing strategy.” Rather, companies should change to adopt this getting along mentality.
Millennials, in particular, see value in this type of cordial team culture. Solange has found in talking with this generation that both millennial men and women prefer working at small companies to avoid the distinct hierarchy at large corporations. If organizations don’t adopt this culture of teamwork, Solange says, they may face serious recruitment issues.
Women have a different working style than men, and corporate America traditionally is geared toward a man’s leadership style and accountability. This is why Solange believes change is needed at a systematic level. The female working style should be embraced and used to drive a culture of teamwork.
If you work in a culture of “me, me, me,” there are ways to turn things around. To begin, you can change what’s valued and rewarded in your company. It may be impossible to transform the overall company culture, but you can at least start in your group. In a nice way, call out the bullies who are showing “power” behavior and not working well with the team.
On an individual level, Solange says it’s important for women to ask each other for help. Women, she says, are generally afraid of asking for a hand because they are so used to helping others.
For more information about Solange’s work, visit her website at
Join us next week with guest Anita Stryker, who will tell us all about how to get the “authentic voice.”