I saw the headline – “3 Career Lessons That Men Know and Women Don’t” – and I thought, “Only 3?” They’ve had generations of the “old boy’s club” to learn these lessons. We haven’t. But The Daily Muse hit the nail on the head with the three lessons they outlined in their article, and we want to highlight one and tell you why we think it’s plaguing women in business everywhere. It’s about using confident language.
…Male entrepreneurs saunter in, plop a half-written business plan down on the table, and explain to me exactly how they were going to “change the world” or “make a million dollars” or “revolutionize an industry” or [insert audacious claim here]. Without blinking an eye. Meanwhile, many of their female counterparts with equally great (or better!) ideas fell prey to subtly career-sabotaging “nice girl” blunders like over-explaining, apologizing unnecessarily, using minimizing words, being the last to speak, and believing that others know more than they did, just to name a few.
Do you know how many times I’ve heard women start sentences with:
- Now, go with me for a minute here…..
- This might be a bit off track….
- Maybe I’m mistaken, but….
- Is it possible that….
And the list goes on. Right? Men say:
- I know
- I think
- I mean
- Absolutely not
It’s all about the words we use. And when you begin a sentence with a qualifier telling the person you’re talking to that you might be wrong, you’re killing your credibility and your confidence at the same time. So go ahead, start a sentence with “I” and be willing to say “Yes” and “No” without hesitation. It’s the lesson we all need to learn to get past the gender gap, so we can learn (and teach) our own lessons.