As women we are programmed to be apologetic.
“Sorry i’m late.”
“Sorry this seat is taken.”
“Sorry to bother you.”
“Sorry to interrupt.”
Can we just knock it off already? Manners are one thing, but apologizing for no reason can actually hurt you. What kind of message are you sending? It sure as hell isn’t confidence.
There is a great article by Fast Company that talks about the right times to apologize and spoiler….it doesn’t include any of the below:
- Sharing your point of view. If you are in a meeting and speak up, don’t apologize for it! Say what you have to say, illustrate how damn smart you are and then sit down. Do you think Bob is going to apologize for interrupting you to show how smart he is? No.
- When you are short on time or long on time. If you have a presentation and it is going long, inform the group that you will wrap up in 2 minutes or however long. Also don’t be that person that drones on and on and on. I’m also going to assume your PowerPoint slides are engaging and not 15 bullet points each.
- Delivering bad news. Sometimes you have to sit down with an employee, colleague or client and share or discuss a difficult issue. Apologizing will only undermine what you are about to say. Have the tough conversation and move on. Starting out with “sorry” only makes you look unsure.
There are situations that will warrant an apology, like running over your neighbors cat. However when it is work-related, think twice before offering up an apology.
What do you think?