With the recent surge of female entrepreneurs, many women are throwing their hat in the boss pool and learning leadership skills through trial and error. With the unspoken conflicting double standards of women in the workplace, female leaders are usually categorized as either being too hard or too weak. While strong women are often labeled as “b*tches,” women labeled weak are viewed as ineffective and ultimately unsuccessful.
Cyrus Innovation created an app to be used via Google Chrome plug-ins that warns you when you write emails using words which undermine your message. The “just not sorry” app was inspired by the writing of Tara Mohr and others to encourage women to stop qualifying their messages and diminishing their voice. Once you download the Google extension, words in your email will be underlined for correction with additional information about how using the phrase is perceived.
Authors Lois Frankel and Carolyn Frohlinger suggest women are more likely to feel guilty because they are socialized to be considerate of the needs and feelings of others. According to their book Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It, Frankel and Frohlinger suggest, “The problem is, guilt is one of the least productive emotions out there, and often it holds women back from going after the things they really want.”
Countless studies agree with Frankel and Frohlinger that women are taught from birth to cater to others’ needs and be polite. That teaching often interferes with them taking the initiative in their careers and being viewed as strong and impactful leaders. Mohr is one of the authors that inspired the app and she has been very vocal in her belief that women need to reject society’s preconceived notions of being polite. In a recent blog titled “10 Rules for Brilliant Women,” out of 10 rules, Mohr’s 5th rule is that women should be an arrogant idiot. “Of course I know you won’t, because you never could. But please, just be a little more of an arrogant idiot. You know those guys around the office who share their opinions without thinking, who rally everyone around their big, (often unformed) ideas? Be more like them. Even if just a bit. You can afford to move a few inches in that direction,” Mohr says.
The #Justnotsorry plug-in was designed to push a few women in Mohr’s aforementioned direction. For women struggling with direction in their communication, this can provide a balance that will hopefully bleed over from email correspondence to verbal communication.
According to Frankel and Frohlinger, when you’re overly nice all the time, it becomes the only thing people see in you. You’ll be overlooked by others because if you’re nice even when other people aren’t, you may not demand the respect you deserve. In her book See Jane Lead, Frankel demonstrates how women can overcome sabotaging childhood behaviors that hold them back, while offering practical advice and real-life examples of strong female leaders who have succeeded in male dominated fields and beyond their wildest dreams. #Justnotsorry offers a practical application of this ideal that should benefit females in the workplace. Thankfully for some of us females struggling to be successful in a male-driven world, Cyrus Innovation has come to the rescue.