Best way to celebrate International Women’s Day, Quit Saying Your Sorry

I am a woman.

I’ve navigated a successful HR career.

I’ve lead HR Boards.

I’ve helped create award-winning workplaces.

I’ve spoken internationally on HR/Leadership topics.

And, I still have the habit of saying sorry when it’s not warranted. It’s almost a form of verbal garbage, just like saying “um” or “like”. And it doesn’t help me one bit. And in a worst-case scenario, an unintentionally habitual sorry can sound snarky.

Women, in general do this more than men, perhaps a behavior learned interacting with parents or another authority figure when young. No matter the reason, we do it too much.

For me, many times the “I’m sorry” or just plain old “Sorry”, isn’t said in a super emotional way. I do that when I am truly sorry for something I need to take ownership of. I’m talking about the reflex I have sometimes because I’ve been trained to do it. For example:

Instead of saying “Give me one minute to reflect on that”, I’ll say “I’m sorry, but I need a minute to reflect on that”. Instead of saying, “I respectfully disagree with what you just said and let me tell you why”, I’ll say, “I’m sorry, I really mean no offense, but I respectfully disagree with you”.

See. It muddies the water. It makes statements less effective and it’s not necessary. The non-sorry, if said in a good tone, is simply not offensive.

My two cents: the best way to support International Women’s Day – Try to quit saying I’m sorry so much. I promise, you won’t be sorry. (I couldn’t resist…)

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Dawn Hrdlica-Burke

Former VP of People for Daxko. Advisor. Speaker. Writer. Singer. Yo-Yo Dieter.

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