TODAY   |  September 17, 2012

8 ways women undermine themselves

Tara Sophia Mohr, founder of the “Playing Big” women’s leadership program, shares what two words women overuse that can belittle their ideas and how women may diminish their message by raising the pitch of their voice at the end of a sentence.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> to get schooled on the eight ways women accidentally undermine themselves. sort of sabotaging their own success and how they can stop it.

>> tara toe fsophia moore, great to see you again. how did you discover that we have a tendency to do these eight things?

>> i was seeing there were a number of little things that we do, little things that we do, but they have a big impact on how powerfully we come across.

>> i think a lot of women are trying to be modest or trying not to sound like they're too big for their britches.

>> that's right. we don't want to be not nice, we don't want to come across as too aggressive, so these are things we do to try to mitigate how strongly we're coming across, but it's the wrong way to go.

>> two words we should drop, the words just and the word actually. you can put them in a sentence?

>> because sometimes those words are appropriate. the party was sully actually on sunday instead of saturday. but what i'm talking about is i actually have a question. that makes it sound like we're surprised we have a question. i just think i just want to ask a question, i just did disagree. it minimizes what's coming next, what we're about to say. so we want to let go of both of those.

>> it says most women begin a thought by saying they might be wrong, but --

>> exactly. and if you start listening for these thing, you'll hear yourself and the women around you doing them. one is i'm just thinking off the top of my head will here, but. and then you say what you really think. or i know you've all been thinking about this much longer than i have, but.

>> so quit apologizing for your opinions basically.

>> exactly. we're afraid of criticism or rejection and when we do that, it makes it less scary.

>> isn't it sometimes modesty? you know you have a pretty good idea, but you tonight wayou don't want t o go in like a bulldozer.

>> h

>> modesty is wonderful, but women overestimate how often they need to show that modesty. usually we're doing them because we feel afraid or uncomfortable about asserting our voice when really if we just asserted in a straight better way, we'd be better off. especially when we're nervous about something. maybe you're going to talk to your boss or you're giving a presentation.

>> can i have a minute, is that okay?

>> yeah, you can say that. people say if you have a minute i want to talk to you about -- and it's something really important. or you say i'd like to tell take just a minute to tell you.

>> don't make your sentences sound like questions.

>> yes. when women raise their pitch at the end of the sentence, i'm so grateful for this opportunity --

>> people talk like that?

>> oh, yeah.