We know from the research that women have a tendency to over apologise. It can be a socialised habit that we aren’t even aware of.
Pantene's Shine ran a really interesting commercial a few years ago highlighting the issue. See right.
Hand on heart, I can honestly say I'm not immune. I do it too. It's fairly ingrained unless I concentrate.
Typical categories for apologies include:
- Apologising for taking up too much space
- Apologising for the inconvenience
- Apologising for making too much noise
- Apologising for strong opinions
- Apologising for having contrary opinions
- Apologising for apologising.
Apologising where an apology is due is really powerful, but when we over apologise and throw them out willy nilly, it degrades a real apology anyway.
Apologising not only focuses on the fault, but also assumes that the fault, if there was one, was yours.
As Jessical Bennett, TIME Magazine, says -
SO WHAT TO DO INSTEAD?
Credibility is key in your success and leadership journey.
While rude is bad (and 'unfeminine'), gracious is good.
And the best bit? Gracious is ‘the feminine” and seen as a highly desirable leadership trait in both men and women.
And graciousness is a credibility builder.
So how do we be gracious and not over apologise?
TRY THE REFRAME
Say “Thank you” instead of “Sorry”
- Example 1: “Sorry I’m late.”
Instead say “Thank you for your patience”
- Example 2: "Sorry for the needing the meeting moved"
Instead say "Thank you for your consideration"
- Example 3: "Sorry, but I don't agree with you"
Instead try "Thanks for that. I don't agree however. Have you considered this other aspect?"
Everybody likes to be be acknowledged. By thanking instead of apologising you not only don't diminish yourself in the process but you acknowledge the other person's contribution as well.
Give it a try and let me know how you go.
And if you have any other suggestions for reframing an apology, do let me know.
Feminine leadership superpowers + credibility = priceless
Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing
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