A new tool has been launched to stop people saying the one word they should never say at work: sorry.
Created by Cyrus innovation, Just Not Sorry is a Google Chrome plug-in that underlines words that undermine a user’s message. The idea is to search for trigger words and expressions to help employees stop apologising so much in professional correspondence.
Women in leadership positions are particularly susceptible to softening their speech, according to Tami Reiss, Cyrus Innovation CEO and co-creator of the extension.
The businesswomen explained that she got the idea for the extension after attending a brunch for the League of Extraordinary Women, where she realised that there was a desire for change.
“We had all inadvertently fallen prey to a cultural communication pattern that undermined our ideas. As entrepreneurial women, we run businesses and lead teams — why aren’t we writing with the confidence of their positions?” she wrote on a blog post on Medium.
According to Reiss when someone uses words such as “just”, “sorry”, “I am not an expert” or “I think” it minimizes others confidence in your idea.
“Qualifiers hint to the reader that you don’t have faith in what you’re saying. The last thing you need is to seem unsure of yourself. We want to make it easy to kick the habit by making it obvious when these qualifiers are holding us back,” she said.
Some have criticised “Just Not sorry” for encouraging women to change the way they speak. Guardian US columnist Jessica Valenti raised the argument on Twitter following the app’s release.
"Where's the app that stops people from judging the way women speak?," Valenti tweeted.
I understand the push to get rid of "sorry" & "just" but I'm 100% sick of treating women's language tics as inherently disempowering— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) December 30, 2015
Nevertheless the app already has more than 12,000 users, according to Google Chrome statistics.
"Most of the time we know we're right, but we add in passive tone subconsciously which has negative impacts on others confidence in our message. The app helps people make a conscious decision what and how they want to communicate," Reiss explained to The Huffington Post.