Yes, the statistics on numbers of women in boardrooms say there still is a glass ceiling. But Wendy Capland, CEO of Vision Quest Consulting tells Inc. magazine’s Minda Zetlin that many of the women she has coached fail to put themselves on an equal footing with men. There’s not just a glass ceiling; there’s a “sticky-floor syndrome.”

Capland shared 12 things women must stop doing if they hope to claim the business roles they merit. The first is to stop using “minimizing language.” “Like ‘just.’ ‘Let me just tell you something.’ ‘I just wanted to stop you for a minute,'” Capland told Zetlin. That “just” subtly says that a woman’s opinion isn’t important.

A worse behavior is apologizing. Don’t be “sorry” you can’t take someone’s call; have a message that says you can’t. Period.

Women ask questions to which they already know the answers. “We don’t want to be too overpowering, and we want to get buy-in upfront. And we ask permission to say something when there’s absolutely no need to do that,” says Capland.

Don’t set goals you know you can reach, she advises. “Don’t be stopped from setting a goal because you don’t know how to get there. No one does when they set a goal where they’re stretching themselves.”

Read Minda Zetlin’s complete article here for Wendy Capland’s other suggestions about career-limiting behaviors to avoid. Then share your opinions and experiences on Step up!

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