There is a common phenomenon that happens in the workplace, and after watching a very wizard-like colleague of mine come into his first meeting, questions blazing and no apology in sight, I realized the most valuable lesson: Ladies, we need to stop apologizing for things that don’t require an apology!
Case in point:
Sorry, this might be a dumb question but …
Sorry to bother you, but what time are you free to meet?
Thanks for the corrections, sorry for those typos.
No sorry, you go first!
Sorry, would you mind looking through those spread sheets when you have a chance?
I’m sorry I got so passionate in the meeting. I’m just really excited about the launch of our next campaign.
I’m not trying to be rude, but I really think we should be more organized about this process. Sorry if I’m overstepping my bounds.
I think I’ve said all of these statements at least a hundred times. And to be honest, I never really took notice until I started working with a coworker whose confidence I found inspiring.
It was in that meeting with my colleague, who looks a bit like James Potter, that the glass shattered. Why AM I apologizing for the things no one else ever says sorry for? All the times I pushed aside questions for fear of looking dumb, James Potter didn’t hesitate to speak out in any meeting. And as a result, everyone thanked him afterwards. It’s through his example that I realized, I want to be like that! I want to add to discussions without becoming nervous someone will think my opinion is naive or uninformed, and boldly ask the questions I believe will make me better at my job.
It hasn’t been as easy as I thought. I catch myself throughout the day holding an “I’m sorry” on the tip of my tongue, pondering if it’s necessary in this current situation. 99 percent of the time it isn’t. I’m now learning to change my apologies into phrases of what I actually want to communicate, such as, “Thanks for the great feedback. I’ll definitely correct this moving forward!” These are such tiny things, but as a young female working at a giant company, they’ve made a difference to me.
Now, I’m not saying to stop apologizing for everything. If you make a mistake, own up to it and move forward! Was it you who forgot to schedule the next marketing meeting? Get that apology out and be on your way!
It’s time we all developed confidence in the fact that our opinions matter just as much as anyone else in a meeting. Sure it can be difficult to get a word in when a bunch of people are talking passionately over each other, but once you make a bit of space for yourself, I’ll tell ya, you’ll be feeling like Mickey Mouse on National Cheese Day (or like a million bucks, since that is the more common saying).
So my challenge to you: Stop saying sorry and speak up! You can do this, Batman and I are totally behind you.
^^ I’m super in love with this NYC timelapse and believe it has made me fall more in love with this city. ^^