Confidence in the workplace is key, but properly evoking a sense of self-assuredness often proves to be a difficult task, whether it be in verbal conversations or digital communication. No matter your intelligence or capabilities, certain unconfident words and phrases can sneak into your vocabulary to seemingly subconsciously convey a lack of assertiveness. It's the way words such as "like," "maybe," and "sorry" simply slip out when sharing an idea or speaking out in a meeting. As a way of combatting this content struggle, three women have used their coding know-how to create a tool that identifies undermining language and suggests alternative phrasing for you.
It's called Rosie, and it's a Chrome extension that is compatible with many of the business communication tools you likely use every day, like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Slack. The technology works to pick out words and phrases that are typically viewed as undermining and suggest that the words be deleted or edited.
As an entry-level employee, I consistently find myself questioning the language I use when communicating with my superiors, whether it's in a formal email or a quick chat via Slack. I downloaded the extension to see if it could really help me sound more confident at work. After writing up a draft of an email I would potentially send out, the Rosie extension quickly underlined my use of "just," "maybe," and "I'm not sure." While these phrases may seem like obviously timid language, having the instant recognition that these words are not necessary works as a welcome second opinion before hitting send.
According to the company's website, the extension is named after Rosie the Riveter, the World War II cultural icon representing women in the workforce. This speaks to the larger issues of inequality in the workplace that women still face today. A 2017 Women in the Workplace report finds that women are still underrepresented at every level in corporate America with just one in five C-suite positions going to women and entry-level women remaining 18% less likely to be promoted than male employees. Based on studies showing that unconfident language plays a role in the ability of women to move forward in their careers, Rosie was created. However, this is an issue that affects people in the workplace regardless of age, gender, or rank.
Download the extension now and see how much more confident you can sound at work by simply omitting unnecessary phrases from your professional correspondence.