When a woman asks a question during class/workshops, or in meetings at work, it usually sounds like this:
“I’m sorry if you’ve already mentioned this, but…”
“This is probably going to sound stupid, but…”
“Sorry if someone has said this, but…”
“Um, ah, well, sorry, I get nervous speaking aloud…”
“Sorry my question took so long to ask.”
WHAT is going on here ladies?! We need to bring our A-game if we want to take over the world. How are girls going to ‘run the world’ as Beyonce says, if we start all our questions off with apologies and disclaimers?
STEP 1: Read my post on How to Ask a Question.
STEP 2: Create awareness by counting the number of times you apologize before or after you’ve asked a question. Once you see how often this happens….you’ll stop apologizing.
STEP 3: Consciously stop apologizing, even if you’re catching yourself mid-word. You must stop apologizing. Start catching other women doing this, we must help each other out and awareness is the key.
STEP 4: Start from a place of YES, not maybe. Yes sounds confident, yes sounds like you know what you’re talking about. Nobody takes direction from “maybe” people. Apologies are maybe people.
Now that you’re aware of this, you’ll see it EVERYWHERE. You’ll hear women do this all the time, but now that you know what the problem is, you can start fixing it.
My students email me all the time with stories of how often they catch other women (friends, family and strangers) start off a question with an apology, and how they are interrupting this dialogue by creating awareness.
Watch Amy Schumer’s brilliant skit “I’m sorry” from S3E4: