David Feldman

Three Ways Women are Self-Sabotaging Their Success

Blog Post created by David Feldman Champion on Apr 11, 2016

Below is some advice from a good friend of mine, Kaylah Pangman.  She is a very successful businesswoman and we often talk about the dynamics of both men and women in the workforce (especially since I've become involved with Pink Petro).  You'll see she's very bright and has some good advice that has served her well throughout her career.




You may think that job performance and productivity are the only components that measure how successful you are and can be. In a perfect world, you would only be judged in these two areas.  Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world.  If you feel like you're bumping that glass ceiling, it may be due to mannerisms and the way you speak more than how you perform your duties.  You may not notice doing any of the things that could actually be sabotaging your success!


Take a moment to reflect on the way your carry yourself, the way you speak and how you present your professional self.  If you are guilty of any of the following ways that women are hindering their rise in their careers, start taking action to correct it!


1.  Downplaying What You Say


Women are known to downplay what they are saying by using little words with less meaning.  There is often a clearly apologetic tone that cancels any confidence your words may carry.  We may be trying to soften the blow or spare another's feelings, but in the career world, strong, confident language is respected.  Words like "just," "little," and "sorry" without any wrong doing take the importance of what you are saying and diminish it.  You don't just want to stop someone for a moment, you aren't just a little bit concerned.  Your concerns are valid and you want them to be taken seriously. Using confident language is less likely to be overlooked than if you are not committed to what you are saying! Remove sorry from your vocabulary as well!  Unless you've clearly done something that needs an apology, do not say sorry for asking a question, or not being able to answer a phone!


2.  Playing the Waiting Game


When offered a promotion, to head a new, exciting project, to take command of a team, etc., women are more likely than men to pass.  A man will accept what's being offered him because he figures he'll make it up as he goes along.  Women too often pass on such offers because they feel they are not 100% ready to tackle it. No one is going to be perfect the day they start a new position or assignment and often it's best to learn the skills you'll need on the job.  If you weren't qualified to do what you were asked to do, they would have approached someone else.  Take your career by the reins and take that chance!  You'll never move up if you keep waiting for just the right offer.


3.  Worrying about Popularity in the Office


True, you spend a lot of time at your job. True, you need to be able to work with the people around you.  But concerning yourself with how much your coworkers like you can be a huge hindrance to your career!  Not every relationship is going to be great and not every situation can be handled with coddling that relationship.  We are often worried about burning bridges but in a professional setting, your coworkers should have the maturity to not have their feelings hurt.  Be kind always.  But be assertive in your dealings with people and make it known that you are not a pushover!  Effective communication will go a long way towards keeping you in good standing with your peers while not making you the company door mat.


If you unconsciously do these things, you could be hurting your career.  Begin the changes to make yourself outwardly seen as a confident, well spoken woman. Be bold in your work and your career and you'll see yourself reaching new heights.