Do you punctuate your emails with qualifying phrases like, “I just wanted to…” or “Apologies for not getting back to you earlier” or “Sorry I can’t be of more help”?
If the answer is yes, then apologies in advance but we just wanted to alert you to a report this week that you may be subconsciously undermining your authority in the workplace as the phrases may cause others to doubt your ability. This symptom of “imposter syndrome” whereby women feel undeserving of their achievements, is a commonly reported phenomenon for women in the workplace and a well documented cause of lack of promotion and the gender pay gap.
Ever the champions of old fashioned British politeness, (surely a pre-requisite for a successful PA, Secretary or Office Admin?), we at RMS Recruitment were intrigued by the news item claiming that good manners are holding British women back at work and were forced to admit that we are sometimes guilty of expressing a lack of confidence masquerading as politeness.
Well, help is at hand. A new email plug-in app called “Just Not Sorry” helps to identify when we are sounding unsure of ourselves rather than simply being polite. It highlights all those self deprecating qualifying terms we use without even thinking, and by removing all trace of unnecessary apology we can assert our authority at work with a confidence that will inspire others to have faith in our ability.
Of course there is never a place for rudeness, but next time you find yourself apologising at work, take a moment to consider whether your communication requires the qualifying “apology” phrase. Be confident and to the point and you will appear the capable PA you surely are!