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Women, Here Are 4 Ways to Stop Giving Away Power

We're taught from a young age that "femininity" is synonymous with being demure, quiet, pleasing, and friendly. But bosses often need a kind of take-charge attitude that maintains your powerful role as a knowledgeable person. So how do you keep the power and your upward mobility as a woman in the workplace? How do you avoid being stuck between a rock and the glass ceiling? Here are some tips:

We’re taught from a young age that “femininity” is synonymous with being demure, quiet, pleasing, and friendly. But bosses often need a kind of take-charge attitude that maintains your powerful role as a knowledgeable person. So how do you keep the power and your upward mobility as a woman in the workplace? How do you avoid being stuck between a rock and the glass ceiling? Here are some tips:

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(Photo Credit: Matt Beldyk/Flickr)

1. Say sorry only sparingly.

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“Saying you’re sorry unnecessarily puts you in a subservient position,” writes Bonnie Marcus at Forbes. “Women’s tendency to apologize and, in fact over apologize, is another subtle way we give our power away. Understanding when you apologize and your triggers to do so helps you stop your automatic response to say ‘I’m sorry’ and eliminate the phrase when appropriate.”

You don’t have to cut “sorry” from your vocabulary completely. If you spill coffee on someone, a bit of “sorry” might be appropriate. But, don’t apologize for having ideas or disagreeing with someone. The worst thing you can do to maintain your control as a smart lady in the room is to start off a critique with, “Sorry but, I disagree.” Go ahead and disagree, girl! If you know what you’re talking about, why preface it with some apology?

2. Don’t let your inner-critic take control.

There’s lots of ways to get lost in your own head when complications come up. But it’s important to believe in the power you have to make the right decision. Take chances! Put your neck out there. You’re a smart person, otherwise you wouldn’t have gotten to where you are today. Imposter Syndrome may feel real, but it’s really just in your head. If you find a way to calm that voice in your head that’s keeping you from taking some risks, the rewards might be pretty spectacular.

3. Keep emotions in check.

When you’re doing battle in the workplace, whether it’s over intellectual property or getting your way on a new project, you want to make sure you’re keeping it adult and professional. Only bullies resort to yelling or losing their temper. And it won’t do you any good to have an emotional breakdown, either. You’ll want to remain confident in your course and keep your head up high if things don’t go your way. Battles are often waged in the boardroom, but you don’t want to be branded as unreasonable.

4. Care more about what’s right than what’s nice.

As assertive women in power get more and more attention, they’re often looked at as “pushy” and “aggressive” or even a few words we can’t politely print. But it’s not about being liked that’s as important as the change you can affect on the world you live in. No matter how small your part in it might be, a woman in a position of power in the workplace is still (STILL) seen as an amazing thing, so striving for it and vying to keep hold of it are noble tasks.

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