The other day I attended a ‘pre-meeting’. You know, the meeting before the meeting…yea, one of those. However, this ‘pre-meeting’ was actually with two ladies that I’ve grown quite fond of. They are both extremely intelligent software engineers with 25+ years of experience. We were meeting to go over some ideas to later present at another meeting with a group of about 12- 15 individuals, mostly men.

The meeting was going well and I must admit that our synergy is amazing. We all thrive on cutting edge technology, have an affinity for lean-agile principles, and appreciate autonomy in the workplace. But while we were sharing our ideas, one of the women kept caveating her thoughts with “But I’m just a woman, what do I know?” Now I figured this was meant to throw a little shade at some of our male counterparts that would be attending the meeting, so I laughed it off initially. But later that day, I kept thinking about it and started recalling past mixed-gender meetings I’ve attended with this sharp and highly competent woman. It dawned on me that during those types of meetings, she’s not the most vocal, she rarely shares her thoughts or ideas, and when she does share - she doesn’t do so confidently.

Ok, fine...this could totally be her personality but I can’t help but wonder if her reticence during certain meetings is predicated by her words spoken in "jest". Is this truly a bon mot or not? Is it something she’s been jokingly saying for a while but now subconsciously believes it? And then I wondered if I've been guilty of the same. Have you?

Words have power and can influence your actions whether consciously or subconsciously.

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny and legacy.
Source – Unknown. Well, kinda...I can't figure out who said it first. :)