Are you assertive at work? Do you stand up and speak your mind or do you sheepishly wait for someone to ask your opinion?
Research has shown that assertive people are much more likely to succeed in their careers. But sometimes we can undermine ourselves without even realising it.
And the biggest contender? Apologising for no reason.
We’re all guilty of doing it. We apologise for trivial and non-important things. Heck, sometimes I think we just apologise to fill silences.
Back in October comedy writer Emily Murnane noticed this trend and decided to call it out.
Every work email I send:
Sorry to bug you!
Was just wondering
(If it’s not too much trouble)
Would it be possible to do thing you said you’d do?
Totally fine if not!
Prob my fault anyway I’m an idiot 🙂
Sorry to bother you!
Sorry I exist!
Just let me know!
— Emily Murnane (@emily_murnane) October 19, 2018
Her funny tweet garnered thousands of retweets but it also started a much larger conversation.
People around the world began to share their own stories and many realised for the first time that this incessant apologising might actually be harming their careers.
Thankfully, Twitter came through and amidst the amusing anecdotes and stark revelations professionals began to offer their tips and advice for nipping the ”I’m sorry” habit in the bud.
Actor and singer Maggie MacKenzie encouraged people to download a Chrome extension that scans your language for passive behaviours.
I literally have a chrome attachment that highlights when I use language in a way that isn’t assertive. It very helpful and my emails just get to the point.
— Maggie MacKenzie (@MaggieMacKenzi4) October 20, 2018
But our favourite nugget of wisdom came from Lisa Frame. Instead of apologising at work, she simply says ”Thank you”. Check out her tweet below.
Fun trick. Say “thank you” instead of sorry.
Sorry to bug you = thanks for reading this
Sorry I’m late = thank you for waiting
Sorry to ask again = thanks for clarifying in advanced
Dumb we are even having this convo but it’s helped me persevere my work email dignity
— Lisa Frame (@LisaFrame) October 19, 2018
This simple trick can be used to put a positive spin on so many negative situations. Instead of sounding timid you’ll sound respectful and confident.
While some situations will call for a proper apology, why don’t you try nipping some unnecessary statements in the bud this week? Let us know how you get on over on Twitter.