“I just think…”
“I actually disagree…”
“I’m no expert in this, but …”
“Does that make sense?”
There are a number of little turns of phrase – these and others – that women commonly use that undermine how powerfully we come across.
Recently, there’s been a ton of media attention around this topic. Much of the media coverage has directly referenced my writings on this subject.
Unfortunately, many of the TV and radio soundbites have missed the complexity and context that I think is so important for women and men to understand.
I wanted to have the space to talk about the nuances of this topic and address questions I’ve heard from you, questions like,
“If I take all those tentative phrases out of my speech, I’ll be considered abrasive or arrogant by my colleagues. Isn’t it sometimes strategic to soften what we say?”
Or “Why aren’t we telling men to stop saying these things? Is this just one more way of criticizing women?”
And, “Is this really what we should be talking about – given all the issues around women’s leadership and empowerment we could be giving our attention to?”
For more on these and other questions about how we speak and write, check out my essay for LinkedIn’s Pulse here.