I LOVE MONDAY Tip of the Week
Last Friday, I had the privilege of teaching breakout sessions at the Worcester Women's Leadership Conference. Part of what made the day so inspiring and educational for me was a lunchtime panel about the pragmatics of girls and women getting ahead in the work world, a la Lean In.
Mamas, here is one simple thing we can do for our girls, right now, whatever age they are: Teach your daughter that when someone compliments her, the answer, the ONLY answer is:
I have noticed with my eight year old, that when I tell her she is really good at math or did a wonderful job with the details on her art project, she already has started "giving the compliment away" with a "No, I'm not really good at math" or "Jen is better than me at drawing. You should see her picture..." I have been, and will continue. drilling it into her to say "thank you" instead. If she rolls her eyes or looks annoyed, that won't stop me; this is about habit building. Someday when the president (or her factory boss) tells her she did a fabulous job revolutionizing the world (or keeping her cupcake factory in tip-top shape), my girl will know how to say, "Thank you" and own that compliment rather than replying, "I know, I am lucky to have such a hard-working team."
As Victoria Budson, Executive Director at the Women's Public Policy Program from the Harvard Kennedy School, taught me during that panel, if you tell a supervisor that your team did all the excellent work (and not you), he/she will believe you. Another option: one can also say, "Thank you for recognizing that I led my amazing team to meet the goal." See? You can own a compliment and still be generous.
I am a journalist, filmmaker, author, wife, and mom to an 8-year-old daughter. My most recent project is I Love Mondays: And other confessions from devoted working moms. Other projects explore raising only children, happily ever after, raising strong girls, and hot topics for Jewish women.
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