Most of us believe we are blameless for our expressions and actions. Many leaders reinforce poor interpersonal practices and fail to address the aftermath of any damage done. In our busy-ness we are often not present in 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. Feelings our hurt, reputations disparaged and career options become limited, depending upon the recipient of our remarks.
The problem is twofold. First, we take it personally when others express themselves frankly with similar actions or words. 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 we tend to swat people with their extended olive branch when they let us know they are concerned or upset.
Being aware before you say something inappropriate and not saying it works best. When that fails, apologizing can quickly can save a brilliant career. When you have offended someone, stop and review your deed 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. As the boss or leader, your attitude and behaviors carry a lot of weight—use them appropriately.
(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013
Apologizing can seem difficult … what do you do to make it easier for you?