Lots of us have heard the advice that we should stop apologizing so much, especially at work. But do women really say “sorry” too often? And will it actually help our careers if we stop? We turn to two experts for insight.
Karina Schumann, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, summarizes the findings from her study “Why Women Apologize More Than Men.” Then we talk with Sally Helgesen, an executive coach and a coauthor of the book How Women Rise. She explains that saying “sorry” is only one form of the minimizing language women use at the office and shares advice on how to break the habit.
Our HBR reading list:
“Why Women Apologize More Than Men: Gender Differences in Thresholds for Perceiving Offensive Behavior,” by Karina Schumann and Michael Rosee
“The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why,” by Deborah Tannen
How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job, by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith
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Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network.
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