Strange Advice: What if a Male Colleague Gets the Wrong Idea?

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Sometimes the best of intentions are communicated so badly that they land with a thud heard around the world. Such was the case when Jhana Education sent an article to their clients entitled “What if a Male Colleague Gets the Wrong Idea?” and proceeded to advise women how not to act the seductress in the workplace.

This is quite the conundrum. Normally Jhana offers a wonderful service by providing documents online to educated assortment of HR/management issues. Their clients include Google, Groupon,Ask, ModCloth and Eventbrite.

Jhana is a hosted, secure and scalable online resource with original content and tools. We provide practical guidance on a wide range of essential business topics like delegation, productivity, running meetings, coaching and more. The important stuff that’s often overlooked but critical to business success.

We’ve developed hundreds of original and practical articles, videos and tools that are available instantly through a dead-simple online platform, ensuring your managers get the help they need, when they need it. And in the process we help you identify and address hot-button issues before they spiral out of control.

So far so good, yes? But back to the aforementioned thud. I’m not sure how this article made it past Editorial. It is condescending, outdated and frankly, insulting. The article has been removed, but in true Gawker style, Jezebel has the screen shots.

The problem with the piece — besides the fact that it treats its target audience like actual sex idiots — is that it once again implies that women are responsible for how men behave and what men think. Here’s a sampling of the advice doled out:

If you act the same way — always professional, but also always like yourself — around everyone, the problematic colleague will be less likely to get the idea that you’re coming on to him. One caveat: If you’re touchy-feely or flirtatious by nature, you might want to dial it back around him and any guys from whom you sense discomfort.

See what I mean? But this one misstep is just that, a misstep from which I hope they’ve learned.