Can an Apology Save Your Career?

Most of us believe we are not responsible for our expressions and actions. Many leaders and co-workers reinforce poor interpersonal practices (saying, “That’s OK.” “No problem.” “I do that too.”). We fail to address the aftermath of any damage done by our actions and words. In our busy-ness we often allow ourselves to be distracted in our conversations because we are thinking of other things we need to do or formulating rebuttals. By the time we open our mouths, out pops something critical or negative and not on point in the conversation.

The problem is twofold. First, we take it personally when others express themselves frankly and truthfully. Second, we expect others to get over the things we say or do at their expense, including when we violate an agreement. Sadly, we are so adamant about our right to be right that when they extend an olive branch to let us know they are concerned or upset and wish to resolve the problem, we swat them down.

Being aware and conscious before you say something inappropriate and choosing not to say it works best. When that fails and the words slip out, apologizing can quickly save a brilliant career. When you have offended someone, stop and review your action or words from their perspective. Saying “I apologize,” “I’m so sorry,” “Please forgive me,” or “It was not my intention to … ” can build a healthy bridge toward healing relationships, building trust and loyalty, creating effective work teams, and soliciting better ideas. Remember, your attitude and behaviors carry a lot of weight—use them appropriately.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010-2015

Jeannette Seibly is a business advisor for business owners and executives of $5MM to $30MM enterprises creating million dollar results, and along the way guided the creation of three millionaires. Contact her at for a free consultation of how to achieve amazing results.

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