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At the beginning of 2019, I started making a sincere effort to stop apologizing unnecessarily in my emails ("Sorry for the delay in response" or "Sorry, can you please send the attachment" etc.). As women we were often brought up believing that being pleasing to people and not inconveniencing is paramount to being a lady. I am SO glad that there has been a shift in thinking regarding this. Times have changed! In my own practice, I have felt that there is a strength and freedom that comes with taking pause and reformatting language to reflect that there is no fault to possess, therefore there is no fault take on. Some good examples of language revision are in the image provided here. I hope this helps to encourage a shift in language and thinking for women in the workplace. | Fairygodboss
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Heather Macone
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Erin Fox-Ramirez
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Language is so important but changing can be difficult. I found a Chrome extension called "Just not Sorry" that will underline certain phrases like 'I'm sorry', 'I just', or 'I meant' and suggest more appropriate alternatives. Having the extension remind me has been so helpful in changing the way I use my words. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/just-not-sorry-the-gmail/fmegmibednnlgojepmidhlhpjbppmlci?hl=en-US
Maria Molinari
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NSLS Executive Board leader/ QA Specialist
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This is perfect thank you for sharing! Confidence is key and mistakes are going to happen. There is no reason to over apologize for something we all do.. make mistakes! I love the alternatives here, still professional, still give the vibe of an apology but the main thing I see here is these alternatives don't make you seem as though you are taking the blame! I LOVE IT! The error may not have even been yours, why associate yourself with the error?
Heather Macone
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Exactly Maria! Thanks for noting!
Heather Macone
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Rock on Beth!
Beth Warren
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I dropped all of the "I'm sorry" language from my personal life several years ago. Stop apologizing for our own opinions/choices etc. Invitations to events and other things, apologize only if it's a situation where a true apology is required. State up front your position and then move on.
Michelle Markgraf
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Directing new programs to success
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I found that substituting the more formal "I apologize" for "I'm sorry" helps me evaluate the need to express remorse. Sometimes, a heartfelt apology is needed. Most times, though, I realize that I did nothing that requires an apology!
Heather Macone
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Completely agree! There are definitely times when a polite apology is necessary and warranted. "I apologize" is a more professional way of writing it when it is necessary.
Kat
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FGB VIP - Sharing knowledge, providing support
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It's a good thing to remember when speaking as well. Women are often taught to state their opinions in a very apologetic way. "Maybe I'm not understanding this..." or "This is probably a dumb idea..." or "You might have already thought of this, but have you considered..." Don't apologize for having an opinion or an idea. It's fine if you need clarity or an explanation. But you don't have to apologize ahead of time. If it's something you don't get, chances are someone else doesn't understand either. Be direct with your comments and questions. It's not easy because women don't realize they're doing it, or how much time they spend apologizing when they don't need to.
Heather Macone
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I completely agree with you Kat! It takes consistency in dropping that language from all communications to make the exercise effective. It may be uncomfortable at first and feel like you are going against your own grain, but its worth it!
Nassima
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Senior OPC Product Engineer @ Siemens France
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Great!!! I love it!!
Ainsley Kuppler
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Director of Product, NJ
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Love this! My go-to now is "Thanks for your patience" instead of apologizing
Tiffany Smith
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I like that better too!
Tiffany Smith
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This post couldn't be more timely. I just spent my entire morning being apologetic, respectful, inclusive, and supportive ONLY for my manager to slap me in the face and tell me what I shared has no value. I am only valuable when I make things easy and don't "rock the boat," so to speak. I'm left feeling insecure and devalued for sure. :(
Gillianne Hetrick
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HR Manager & Non-Profit Director
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When someone tries to make you devalued don't let that become your internal dialogue. You have lots of value, and valuable input.
Tiffany Smith
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Thank you! I certainly need this reminder. You don't matter has been on repeat all morning...
Heather Macone
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Hi Tiffany, I am so sorry you had that experience. I second what Gillianne noted!
Kate McDonald
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Founder + CEO of Broadreach Career
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Yes! I LOVE this! I remember being in the middle of the jungle of Costa Rica responding to a work email (Starting with "My apologies for the delay") and my boyfriend said, "What are you doing? You don't need to be responding to that right now." We shouldn't have to apologize for living our lives. If we don't take time for work-life balance, we will not be able to fully show up for either.
Heather Macone
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Yes Kate!