Takeaways from Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg


Three of my main takeaways from the book:

  • Gender equality empowers men too.

Let´s change the expectation that it´s natural for men to be less involved in the family or in raising the kids. Men should be given the equal chance to bond with family without being pressured by society or be seen as “weak” if they do.

  • Let your partner be a real partner.

In the home and, might I add, outside of the home as well.

  • Women need to stop “maternal gatekeeping” to allow their partners to be real partners.

“As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home. I have seen so many women inadvertently discourage their husbands from doing their share by being too controlling or critical. Social scientists call this ‘maternal gatekeeping,’ which is a fancy term for ‘Ohmigod, that´s not the way you do it! Just move aside and let me!’ When it comes to children, fathers often take their cues from mothers. This gives a mother great power to encourage of impede the father´s involvement. If she acts as a gatekeeper mother and is reluctant to hand over responsibility, or worse, questions the father´s effors, he does less.”

“Now we know that women can do what men can do, but we don´t know that men can do what women can do.”

Side takeaway on parenting and life in general:

  • Reflecting someone´s viewpoint becomes a starting point for resolution.

“When we had arguments, our mother taught us – or more like forced us – to mirror each other, which means restating the other person´s point before responding to it. For example, one day my sister and I were fighting over a lollipop. ‘Sheryl ate the last lollipop!’ Michelle screamed. ‘But she had a lollipop yesterday and I didn´t!’ I screamed back, making an excellent point. My mother sat us down facing each other. I was not allowed to explain how gravely inequitable the lollipop allocation was until I acknowleged my sister´s feelings. ‘Michelle, I understand that you are upset because I ate the last lollipop and you wanted it.’ As painful as this was at the time, reflecting someone else´s viewpoint clarifies the disagreement and becomes a starting point for resolution. We all want to be heard, and when we focus on showing others that we are listening, we actually become better listeners.”


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