If you’ve ever typed an email at work or school and found yourself writing the words “I’m sorry” for no reason, Cyrus Innovation may have just the tool to help you curb your unwarranted apologies.
According to The Huffington Post, the software development company has created a new plug-in for Gmail accounts called “Just Not Sorry,” which “underlines words written in emails that could possibly undermine the writer’s input such as ‘sorry,’ ‘just,’ ‘I think’ and ‘I’m no expert.’”
This easy-to-use tool was created as part of the Female Founder Initiative, a “a software development partner that helps women in tech and business succeed.”
Tami Reiss, Cyrus Innovation CEO and co-creator of the plug-in explained in an essay on Medium the inspiration behind the project, which stemmed from a celebratory brunch with fellow successful females:
“The women in these rooms were all softening their speech in situations that called for directness and leadership. We had all inadvertently fallen prey to a cultural communication pattern that undermined our ideas,” she wrote. “As entrepreneurial women, we run businesses and lead teams — why aren’t we writing with the confidence of their positions? There was the desire to change, but there wasn’t a tool to help.”
Downloadable from the Google app store as a Google Chrome plug-in, the extension functions much like Microsoft Word’s “Spelling & Grammar” review feature, underlining words and phrases that indicate softer or more apologetic speech. The key difference: if you hover over the underlined word, a dialogue box appears below explaining the problems with such phrases. Each explanation comes courtesy of female business leaders, including women’s leadership expert Tara Sophia Mohr and business journalist Lydia Dishman.
Launched only on Dec. 28, the plug-in has already been downloaded 27,000 times according to The Huffington Post, which exceeded Reiss’ goal to reach 10,000 downloads by the new year.
Explaining to The Huffington Post how the plug-in will impact the way women communicate at work, Reiss offered, “Most of the time we know we’re right, but we add in passive tone subconsciously which has negative impacts on others confidence in our message. The app helps people make a conscious decision what and how they want to communicate.”
The Just Not Sorry plug-in is free to download at the Google App store.