Why being ‘too grateful’ at work can affect ladies’s careers

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Happy black female employee get rewarded for professional achievement handshake boss, tolerant male manager shake hand of proud african business woman promote express recognition at work concept


You’ve labored laborious to land a great job, you’ve received a good boss and your colleagues are straightforward to get together with. Your wage isn’t wonderful, but it surely’s sufficient to pay your hire and payments. You are feeling grateful that you just’re employed in any respect, notably when so many individuals are dealing with redundancy on account of COVID-19.

Being grateful is never a unfavorable factor. Lately, analysis into constructive psychology has constantly linked gratitude with larger happiness. And at work, feeling grateful can have a lot of constructive outcomes, together with decrease stress ranges, extra constructive feelings and better job satisfaction.

We’re typically reminded to specific gratitude and to understand the great in conditions. However in some instances, gratitude will be taken too far. After we discover ourselves overly grateful, it will probably deny us our energy — notably for girls.

“Ladies will be ‘too grateful’ within the office for quite a lot of causes. When some ladies go after positions which are usually male-dominated or thought-about a ‘stretch’ for them, they’re normally stunned when introduced with a suggestion and develop into overly cautious when doing their jobs,” explains Jackie Mitchell, a licensed skilled profession and life coach.

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A key drawback is that from a younger age, ladies are conditioned to really feel grateful for alternatives that their male counterparts count on to get. For instance, a lady in a excessive place in STEM could really feel grateful for his or her job, a lot in order that they overlook how certified they’re — or that they deserve their success.

“Being overly grateful can prolong into maturity after we’re introduced with extra alternatives we really feel in awe of,” Mitchell provides. “Since we’re additionally taught to be humble and likeable, sure behaviours will be misapplied and have the alternative impact.”

Feeling overly grateful can be linked to “imposter syndrome,” a pervasive feeling of fraudulence through which you doubt your expertise and talents, regardless of overwhelming proof saying in any other case. Plenty of individuals expertise impostor syndrome however specialists have lengthy discovered that ladies usually tend to endure from it extra intensely.

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In a survey of 300 senior executives by Heriot-Watt College and the Faculty for CEOs in 2019, greater than half (54%) of ladies often skilled “imposter emotions” in comparison with 1 / 4 of males. Impostor syndrome can even hit ladies extra intensely in sure professions, notably in fields the place they’re underrepresented.

Feeling too grateful can play into our fears and insecurities, which might maintain ladies again in a number of methods. 

“Being ‘too grateful’ merely could cause stagnation. We will be so grateful that we don’t wish to rock the boat or be seen as too outspoken. We’ll sit again and never advocate for ourselves,” Mitchell explains.

As well as, feeling grateful for the great can typically depart us trapped with the dangerous. Feeling overly grateful for a gentle earnings may imply you make compromises that affect you negatively in different methods, similar to placing up with a poisonous boss.

“We’ll settle for dangerous behaviour even when we’re sad and unhappy with the scenario,” Mitchell says. “We’d additionally settle for salaries which are manner under our expectations as a result of we’re simply glad to have the provide.”

READ MORE: Why working moms are the primary on the firing line for COVID-19 redundancies

This isn’t to say that honest gratitude shouldn’t be expressed at work, nonetheless. Exhibiting appreciation can go a great distance in terms of boosting morale, particularly in case you’re in a administration place. 

Managers who keep in mind to say “thanks” to individuals who work for them could discover that these workers really feel motivated to work tougher. In accordance with a 2019 survey of 1,500 employees performed by Reward Gateway, an worker engagement platform, 75% agreed that motivation and firm morale would enhance if managers merely thanked employees in real-time for a job properly carried out.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to recollect which you could really feel each grateful and pleased with your achievements on the identical time.

“We are able to take a look at our accomplishments and say to ourselves, and to others, that we’ve carried out an awesome job and that we deserve all that we wish,” says Mitchell.

“Being grateful has its place. Simply don’t overdo it. You’re deserving as a result of you’ve got the talents and talents to be, do, or have something you need. Relating to the office, you had been chosen for the distinctive worth you deliver. Don’t downplay that as a result of with giving an excessive amount of gratitude, you overlook who you’re.”



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