'Criminal Minds' Provides Poignant Lesson for Professional Women

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criminal minds'Criminal Minds' presented a poignant lesson about the workplace this week. It was something many working women: try to become someone they are not.

That lesson was delivered in the Oct. 13 episode through Penelope Garcia. To deal with the loss of JJ to a job out of the Behavioral Analysis Unit and into the Pentagon, Garcia decides she will become JJ, aka The Professional Woman. She begs Hotchner to allow her to try out some of JJ's roles in the field. Wise Hotchner allows the disaster. Mid-experiment, Morgan rides to the rescue and coaxes Garcia back to being Garcia. Equilibrium is restored when Garcia returns to her computer cave, chastened but wiser.

The messages that 'Criminal Minds' delivers include:

Be the best at what you're good at. What you're good at can be what you uniquely put together. Garcia did her IT tasks in a very Garcia manner. That saved lives.

Try on other roles, sure, but know how to check the fit. It helps to have a work buddy like Morgan to help you assess whether what you're attempting may be costing you and the workplace too much. When he was in mandatory therapy on 'Without a Trace,' Jack Malone had to step up to the plate on that issue.

Workers need leadership. When Gracia's experiment unravels, Hotchner as leader steps in and firmly gets her back on track doing the urgent work the team needs. More of your superiors have to take hold of leading in these volatile times.

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