No, Please, You Go Ahead


Leonie Cutts

October 8, 2015 1:04 am

Small events or interactions can say so much about us. Take a moment to answer these quiz questions to see what your behaviour says about you:

When you receive a compliment, you say:

  1. I know, but thank you for saying!
  2. Thank you so much.
  3. Really?  I just don’t feel good about that. You do it so much better.

The opportunity for a promotion comes up, you:

  1. See the title of the job and put your hand up immediately
  2. You look at the criteria, see you have a few of them, and put your hand up
  3. You look at the criteria and see you only have half the requirements, so you recommend it to a colleague

You’re walking down the hall and another person is coming toward you, you:

  1. Assertively continue walking, they move to let you go by
  2. Make eye contact and smile, then move to let them by
  3. Move aside so they can get by easily without disturbing their path

I was sharing some statistics from the Career Catalyst on job promotions with a group recently and was shocked by their reaction. The statistics were that women feel they need almost 100% of the requirements to even apply for a promotion, whereas men will put their hand up with 50% or less than the requirements.  As I shared this with the mixed gender group every head in the room nodded. EVERY head!

The women agreed that they wouldn’t apply unless they had all the criteria. The men puffed their chests and proudly nodded that of course they would apply anyway. WOW, statistics coming true before my eyes!

In the area of compliments, women, we are our own worst enemy it seems. Amanda Owen shares in her book Born to Receive,

Ask a woman to accept a compliment, and you can easily end up in a discussion about her feelings of unworthiness or hear from her about the lack of merit of the compliment she has been given…

Men do not feel that they have to constantly shore up their self-esteem to be effective in the world or to achieve the things they want.

And what about the hallway scenario? At the recent Xplore for Success Career Retreat, associate Amanda Webb posed the question:’Why do some people walk into a room and people pay attention, while others come in, unnoticed? Why is it that one person can walk down a hallway, their path unobstructed as others move for them, and others find themselves constantly moving out of the way?’

It comes down to your state, which we see in body language. The most confident person wins.

I don’t like stereotypes. I believe we are the masters of our own destiny. But I also know that we are bombarded by cultural messages that sometimes claim too much of our world.

If you answered #3 to the quiz questions, does that say you’re a woman?  No. But I’m guessing that the majority of people who answered #3 are women. Gender aside, if you answered #3, it might be telling you that you are undervaluing yourself and what you have to offer. When you behave like this, are you just being nice, or are you feeling less about yourself than you could?

It’s never too late to start afresh, to rethink and re-evaluate who you are, what you want and how you are being perceived.

When I let go of what I am

I become who I might be.

Lao Tzu