If you’re a woman in 2015, or follow anything that Sheryl Sandberg has to say about leaning in, you probably know that women have a propensity to apologize. A lot. And for a some weird reasons. Like when a stranger bumps into you. Or before you utter a brilliant idea to room full of superiors.
Lately, I’ve also noticed this happening in sports. For example, when I play tennis with women, most tend to apologize a LOT. Just go watch four women playing club doubles and you’ll hear a continuous stream of “sorry!” ringing out the entire time. It’s pretty comical.
You threw two wonky tosses and are taking awhile to serve? “Sorry!”
You made an error and lost a point for your team? “Sorry!”
Ponytail fell out and now you’re blinded by your bangs? “Sorry!”
Same goes for other sports – I see it in skiing, yoga, at the gym and studio.
But there’s one place I definitely don’t hear “sorry” … from the guys, unless it’s really necessary.
To be clear, I’m not immune to this sorry affliction. Etiquette in sports is important – but I’ve become more conscious of not giving my power away by apologizing for things that aren’t truly offensive or rude. I find it removes distraction, makes for a more positive environment, and overall makes me feel more confident and in control – all things that lead to a better result.
Turns out Sheryl’s advice applies far beyond the boardroom.