Typically, when a woman asks a question during class, in meetings at work, or basically ANYWHERE, 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.”
“Sorry about that…”
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 your 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.
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.
Realize that when you apologize like this you’re devaluing yourself and your worth. You’re subconsciously apologzing for who you are, where you are in life and what value you add.