The Confidence Code

The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know
Narrated by: Sandy Rustin
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,709 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the best-selling Womenomics provide an informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence - and learning how to achieve it - for women of all ages and at all stages of their career.

Working women today are better educated and more well-qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition - with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business - Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to "lean in". Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Katty Kay and Claire Shipman (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stop Ruminating and Give it a Listen

Any additional comments?

I read the teaser article about this book in The Atlantic and was intrigued enough to read the actual book. I'm not a self-help or trendy non-fiction reader, so this book was quite the departure for me. However, the thesis presented in the article in the The Atlantic really resonated with me.

As an adult whose returned to college, I often find myself appalled at the lack of confidence and agency in the young women I take classes with. Often, in many settings from school to work I find myself as the only outspoken woman in a group, and even then, I know how much confidence I lack in comparison to my male colleagues.

I interned at a literary journal and while 70 to 80 percent of the classes, workshops and conferences for creative writing I attend are populated by women, strangely those numbers flip when it comes to who is submitting work to magazines and journals. It's strange that while the majority of writing students are female, an overwhelming majority of those who submit stories are male. It's something I've always found puzzling and concerning. But after reading this book it seems to me that a business, like writing, that involves monumental amounts of rejection, is something women in our society have not been trained to accept.

One of the main ideas in the book is that women are not given the same opportunities as men to fail and fail often enough to become well-practiced in failure, and thus when encountering failure in the real world for the first time as adults, we shrink back and learn we can't fail if we don't try. Which becomes learned helplessness. Women learn to only go for sure-bets and keep reinforcing their lack of confidence by avoiding failure. The book posits that failure, and lots of it, is a necessary building block of confidence.

I wish a lot attitudes and ideas in this book were not true. It was disheartening to realize how much we as women tend to work against ourselves and our success in order to be considered "good girls." There are three things I will take away from this book and internalize for life. Fail harder, stop ruminating, and own my success - I will never again credit luck for what I have achieved.

There are no great epiphany "ah-ha!" moments here, but rather confirmation backed up by scientific studies on why we, as women, lag behind once we leave the sheltered world of school to the business environment. But the book is quick to note, as well, that it's not as easy as Leaning In, because self-assertive women at work are labeled as aggressive bitches. And for this, the book has no solutions, save some very wide platitudes about blending male and female qualities to succeed in the workplace. And that is a very nuanced process that would probably take up another book.

Great read if you have a daughter, work with girls, or if you're doing everything right, but not getting ahead at work and can't figure out why.

48 people found this helpful

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A disappointment

Having heard the authors on the radio, I wanted to see what additional wisdom I could glean from listening to the whole book. I could barely make it through (and skipped a lot). The information was repetitive and laboriously presented. Worse, the book focused on the problem and spent little time talking about solutions. I guess I wanted more of a "what can we do about this" book rather than a "here's the problem" book.

The other problem was the narrator. Her high-pitched, lispy voice drove me a little nuts and didn't seem to fit the tone of the subject. I could hear her doing, for example, a YA novel, but this didn't seem like a good fit.

40 people found this helpful

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Hoped for more practical advice

I do love the concept of the book and sharing the science behind confidence. Having that basic understanding is important to get ourselves to the next level. I had hoped more practical advice and tips on managing our perception of confidence and how others perceive us.

7 people found this helpful

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Life changing...REALLY!!!!

What made the experience of listening to The Confidence Code the most enjoyable?

What made the experience most enjoyable was the information that was imparted. I learned new things and old lessons sunk in deeper.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Information that every woman and every girl needs to know. Some guys can benefit from a brush up on this as well, but the testosterone driven corporate culture is so foreign to us women. There are many rules of the game that we need to learn and we need to keep reminding ourselves. I will listen to this at least once/ year for the rest of my life!

What about Sandy Rustin’s performance did you like?

The narrator was pleasant, conversational, just fine..wouldn't change a thing.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Competence is worth something, but not nearly as important as exuding confidence when you want to be consequential and successful. Don't automatically apologize for your work or for your actions. Stop being overly polite - don't immediately apologize when you walk in to a meeting late. But don't be rude or obnoxious, of course.

Any additional comments?

As a 44 year old woman I knew much of what was written, but the authors so thoroughly explored the idea of confidence, from so many angles;the gender differences, nature vs. nurture, sports, the work environment, etc. I listened to it approximately 1 month ago and it has truly changed the way I carry myself at work as well as in my daily life.

18 people found this helpful

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Pratice what I read!

I truly enjoyed this book! Every woman no matter the profession can only benefit from reading the is book. There were so many takeaways that I found myself taking copious notes. I replayed chapters several times. What should have taken a day or two took two weeks because I replayed so many parts of the is book. There is a level of confidence I have been lacking and this book has helped me to search within myself and work to bring it out. Wonderful book, should be the text book for my Womens Study course.

8 people found this helpful

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Average

Not very interesting after you get the point. The chapters aren't connected to each other and doesn't make me want to listen to the end. Pretty boring "read"

10 people found this helpful

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Well-written, unclear how actionable

I enjoyed listening to The Confidence Code, but afterwards when I tried to think of what I'd do differently, I came up empty-handed. This may be because I'm not quite the right audience. While I found the parts of the book that painted lack of confidence as a real issue very compelling, I didn't take away too many next steps for my own life, except perhaps "Call out women you see doing these things." Since I can't change my genes, and can't get a different mother, I'd have liked more clear-cut To Do's for the already-adult. It's possible they were there and I missed them, but I listened to the book twice to be sure, and nothing jumped out at me on the second runthrough. That said, I'm very grateful they wrote the book because it does such a good job of drawing attention to the very real issue.

18 people found this helpful

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Great to listen to if you struggle with confidence

I enjoyed how the authors used science and research to explore confidence and summed up a quick blerb to remind oneself how to “be” confident: think less, take action. This book really resonated with me because I find myself facing a lot of the issues that the authors presented. I caught myself using “lilting” speech and holding back day-to-day, just as the authors had discussed. Now that I have recognition of what I am doing, I have decided to make changes to improve my confidence. I gave 4/5 because the flow of the overall book felt a little disjointed while listening, and the conclusion too abrupt.

2 people found this helpful

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A lot of research, and no valuable takeaways.

I purchased The Confidence Code for Girls for my daughter and I think very highly of that book. When I realized there was a book for women, I had high hopes that I would gain useful tips to further build my confidence. This audiobook turned out to be a regurgitation of research, which made listening to it fairly boring. In hindsight, I could have skipped chapters 1-5. It isn't until Chapter 6 where you begin to receive some confidence-building tidbits but it wasn't anything life-changing. I would not recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book, bad audible experience

No complaints about the book content or the narrator. However, in the audible app, there are no chapters or subsection titles, and the chapters don’t align with the section #s in the navigation. It’s VERY difficult to know where you’re at in the book and to navigate if needed. Overall frustrating experience.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amal Mosawi
  • 06-25-18

go for it

if you searched for this title because you want to understand confidence and master it then this is the book you're looking for!!! and it's not for women only.. it's for anyone who seeks heightened levels of confidence and groundedness

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-19

Loved it!

It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, a step by step guide with the typical tips you get, but I think it was what I actually needed. A proper insight into the science and art of self-assurance that allows you to build your own brand of confidence. Definitely a top recommendation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • uccellina
  • 02-08-16

Meh

This was ok but didn't include much you won't hear from Tara Mohr or Sheryl Sandberg.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Monaghan
  • 04-13-20

Really interesting and helpful

An ideal book for those who are struggling for confidence, are looking to set up a business or get ahead at work. It helps you understand why and where a lack of confidence/ self assurance comes from. It's focused on women but I think it would be a great read for men too. On top of this understanding they give you great tips and ideas to help compensate for it and also ideas for raising girls in a way that will help cope with the cultural tendencies that encourage a lack of confidence in women.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-04-20

A book I wish I read 20 years ago!

I’ve had feedback before from bosses “you need to address your confidence”. No one had any solutions.
Great book, great listen. I will be coming back and recommending this for sure!

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  • Siobhan Blaney
  • 02-13-20

Very good but repetitive towards the end

I learned a lot throughout this book, but by the last three or four chapters I felt like nothing new was being presented. However, the initial chapters were very informative and worth listening to. I found the reader's performance engaging.

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  • Ash
  • 08-05-19

a light hearted read

Was an easy one to read but had to skip chapters as there is one how to raise confident kids and could not get with the program as I don't have one. The book looks to combine science and the diagnosis of women confidence (or the lack of) as a good to know basis but now what?
A few interesting insights now and again but if you are looking for tools and techniques to raise confidence then there are better books out there.

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  • august year
  • 05-13-19

Interesting

The book itself is interesting and a lot of research has been done by the authors.
The person reading the audiobook could have also done some research into pronouncing names properly. She clearly gave herself license to pronounce them just as she felt like.
Her voice and accent were irritating.

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  • Ruth Noel
  • 11-08-16

Extremely valuable

Extremely valuable because now I can see my worth clearly and I am happy I don't have to act masculine or with male bravado in order to be Successful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MS F
  • 09-01-16

A nice introduction

A good, engaging book, well performed. I'd have liked more detail on tips and practical advice, but it was a clear introduction on the issue. Plenty of food for thought

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-01-18

Not really teaching you how to be confident

This book is pretty useless if you are searching to build confidence it really only compares women and men in the workplace

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kate Gillan
  • 04-02-17

Excellent

Robust, well researched and thought provoking material that can apply to women from all walks if life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Annamaria
  • 10-13-15

Not recommended

Found the book quite depressing as it emphasised the genetic and environmental predisposition for females to be less confident than males. Depressing as it added another barrier to women having leadership roles unless much more effort is put in. Did not find motivating as emphasised the negatives.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 07-03-20

A book for everyone to read

This book explains the systemic confidence issues and gives some solid guides on how to break this pattern.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-03-20

Well done!

Loved this book for amount for the amount of information and genuine ability to inspire ! Recommend to all women and girls !!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-20-19

Great Book

very reseach based in the beginning... but stick to it...the best parts are right in the middle and tapers off with great insight.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-16-19

Awesome

Amazing, informative and entertaining with a science backed, simplistic easy to follow path to confidence.

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  • Louisa
  • 05-26-18

great book should be read by everyone

loved the book and wish i had read it 10 years ago but will put it to use now that i have read it!

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  • Alina
  • 10-08-17

Appealing to every woman's inner-geek

I loved this book. The interview subjects are impressive and the facts and figures, combined with the authors' humanity with their shared experiences, make this a must read/listen for all women. It is exciting to know that young women today can apply the basics that are unveiled through the excellent story-telling, and can become their best selves. For me, I have stumbled across the same basics in a round-about way, and I'm in my late forties. I can only imagine what life would be like if I knew all this back when I was in my 20's! The conclusions are logical - a lot could be commom sense really! Allow your inner-geek to embrace this guidance and go ahead and unlock YOUR confidence code.