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The Art Of Shutting Down Mansplainers At Work

Ever been cut mid-sentence by a man only to be told what you already knew, or (even better) knew in further detail and probably have more understanding on? Ladies, you've been hit with a mansplanation.


We understand how annoying this can get. Have a seat and prepare to take some notes, because we have the ultimate guide on how to avoid a mansplaining encounter at work. 


Say the following things to steer clear of unprofessional behaviour.


“I hear you, but I've got this.”


Often at work, you'll find yourself in a situation where a man abruptly decides he wants to take over a task you know how to handle, and maybe know it better.


Now, suggestions and constructive criticism are great and a healthy way to communicate at work, and we appreciate them from all sides. But you could be in the middle of a pitch or a discussion and someone swoops in with something that sounds more like a 'Hey, I can do this better,' rather than a 'here's a suggestion on how this thing could be bettered,' and we are not here for that. 


When put on the spot like this, do not hesitate to keep what's yours.


Acknowledge the statement from your colleague and leave it at that. Let him know that you have heard him, and you're continuing to do this task the way it should be done. Do not engage yourself in a conversation he is not even ready to have.


"Questions at the end."


Some man passed a snarky comment while you were giving a presentation? Treat it like it is - a snarky comment.


Assert your authority in the situation by telling the entire room to keep their questions for later as they will be addressed at the end.  


“What exactly are you trying to do?”


When a man is mansplaining, he is probably doing so to ‘provide’ you with ‘new knowledge’, right? Well, why don’t we question him first?


Ask him what he is trying to achieve by explaining this subject, what is his goal, what expertise does he have to offer that you already don’t know, why you should even listen to him, and watch him stop and walk away in a matter of seconds.


"Perhaps I should brief you on..."


One great way to shut down mansplaining is by educating.


A man could assume your experience is inferior to his on a subject by default, and while he is so wrong for doing that, it is best to inform him of his mistake and establish your knowledge on the matter then and there.


Explain it to the mansplainer.


While this would take up a little bit of your time, and you are not obliged to let every man you encounter know of your potential and achievements, sometimes it is the only way to make them stop.


“We have something to say.”


A report by Catalyst claimed that 45% of women business leaders say it’s difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings and one in five women say they’ve felt ignored or overlooked by colleagues during video calls.


Women, it’s time you team up. When in meetings, discussion, pitches, or any group gathering at work, give women a voice and help each other out in conveying opinions. Offer your female colleagues an opening along the lines of “hey, what do you think about it,” or “I think she had an interesting approach,” and fill the room with an even distribution of contribution.


Often, men don't even realise they are mansplaining. We know it gets frustrating to inform them again and again, but it is a fight we all have to fight together. Men, we are sure many of you don't intend on being nuisances, and women, we know you are tired of being treated like rookies. So let's work towards a change together!

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