Thursday, 24 January 2013

Mind your P's and Q's: kindness does not mean weakness.

OKAY, so I get that I am a woman and with that, comes business-world-related issues. Glass ceiling/ inequality/ etc. etc. But that doesn't mean that I am going to change who I am to become some testosterone-slinging female version of Simon Cowell.

Female Simon Cowell
Why the rant, Kath?

Well, I read an article about how women say sorry to much and, to sugar coat it, it PISSED ME OFF.

I understand that women, in our nature, may be more empathetic and more concerned about the well-being of others... jeez, we're the worst. But how exactly are those faults? How are they crippling gender-specific shortcomings? I, personally, love the fact that I am empathetic and that my gal pals are too.

I also understand that we are all responsible for our own fate and we cannot use the fact that we are women and we "deflect conflict" or whatever as a crutch in the workplace. I GET THAT, I really do. But, for those of you who know me, you'll know that I'm not one to make excuses for pretty much anything. I get frustrated, I get focused, and I figure it out.

With that being said, I'd like to venture a new hypothesis about women in the workplace. Maybe it isn't the kind, loving women who need to change who they are and become a constant version of our pre-menstrual selves... maybe it is the culture in the workplace that needs a little tweaking. Maybe we could all benefit from being a bit more compassionate and empathetic from 9-5. To all the dudes out there, this is NOT intended to bash you - I think you're great and I think you should keep on doing what you do, because you are a HUGE asset to the workplace.

What I do intend to do, is motivate all of the women out there to do what my father always told me to do: Kill them with kindness. Yes, maybe being nice won't propel you up the corporate ladder faster than you can say "I'm sorry", but I promise you that it will pay off in the end... in more ways than one.

I'm nice. And I'm okay with that... you should be too.

So, to the person who wrote that article and to all of the others who have written similar ones, I'd like to say:

I'm SORRY for being a nice woman who cares about people in the workplace; and

THANK YOU for motivating me to be even nicer. Also, you're great and I'm sure you didn't write that article with the intention of hurting my feelings. I forgive you.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia

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