The workplace can seem like a large dysfunctional family, but Lisa Robyn sees it as a wild, sadomasochistic world where some wield power and others often women succumb to it. Using the discipline of the professional dominatrix, Robyn encourages women to assume mistress roles to gain the psychological upper hand in The Corporate Dominatrix: Six Roles to Play to Get Your Way at Work. Rather than being naughty, these archetypes are just another way to help women think about the command and control dynamic and use their personal power more comfortably at work. Perception is, in some cases, more important than reality in the office, according to Robyn, a former book publishing executive. So the roles she encourages have specific purposes, from the inner- directed goddess, the image-conscious queen and the non-reactive nurse, to the nurturing governess, the always learning schoolgirl and the righteous, battle-ready amazon, allowing women to sharpen their interpersonal skills and achieve their professional fantasies without losing themselves in the process. The trick for women in the workplace is being externally observant and internally resilient, Robyn writes. Playing work roles can allow you to see other sides of yourself and new possibilities in your career path.

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