#SorryImNotSorry: Fran Hauser & The Myth of The Nice Girl

Fran Hauser’s Reclaiming Kindness session was standing room only by the time is started at Her Conference 2018 this summer. I didn’t expect to see so many women that identified with the constant conflict of being assertive and empowered, yet feeling like they need to give up their warm and sweet personality to be successful in a work environment. Fran’s book, The Myth of the Nice Girl, is a must-read for college women. Not only is it entertaining and relatable, it struck a nerve as I could invision all of these things I was unaware I was doing… and I realized how much it needed to change.

Via Amazon

A little backstory to this badass woman who I, frankly, wish I could be best friends with. Born in Italy, she immigrated to New York with her family in the 1970’s. Hauser graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business Administration, all while being a first-generation college student for her family. She spoke candidly at Her Conference about her experience working in finance at Coca-Cola, one position among many at major companies like MovieFone and AOL where she eventually took on executive and management positions. At Coca-Cola enterprises, in meetings she found herself saying the same agreeing and neutral phrase over and over, completely unaware she was doing it but afraid to really voice her opinions. (#relatable)

Upon reaching out to Fran, she offered an excerpt from her book she found especially fitting for #SorryImNotSorry week:

“When I sat down and thought about what I was actually trying to convey with the word “sorry,” I realized that what I really wanted to communicate was my gratitude and appreciation for the other person’s time. So I started replacing “I’m sorry” with “Thank you.” It’s a simple tweak, but this dynamic truly changes everything. Saying “Thank you” is much stronger than “I’m sorry” and is much more aligned with what I was really trying to express in the first place.”

Expressing gratitude and fronting discussions with positive criticism are just a few of the ways Fran helps to dispel the “myth of the nice girl.” During her presentation, I couldn't help but think of Miranda Priestly, the fashion executive  icon from The Devil Wears Prada. Priestly strikes fear into the soul of every single one of her employees, and the shows the effects of it. Morale is low, employees are getting sick (who end up missing fashion week @Emily) and she’s seen as unapproachable. Eventually we see her compassionate side for the sake of a plot line, but it shows that a leader who isn’t “nice” by Fran’s standards is just not a quality leader to begin with.

Via Giphy

There is no written rule that as a female you have to be submissive or passive to get ahead in your career. Advocate for yourself and be a quality leader. Help those under your position learn and excel. They don’t have to be your best friend, but they will at least have your respect.

Don’t be afraid to be the nice girl, collegiettes.