In my family I have always been known as the one who is “always right” and always had to have the last word. It may or not be something I am proud of, but it is one of my … well, let’s just say… quirks. When you have kids you quickly learn that they can outlast you in the “oh, yes you are/no I’m not” battle. That didn’t put an end to my desire to have the last word though so as you can imagine even minor battles lasted much longer than necessary. I like to believe though that I prepared my kids for life, speaking up for themselves and perhaps a spot on a debate team!
As I’ve gotten more mature in both thought and action, I have learned how to own up to mistakes, not have to have the last word and I have learned the art of I’m sorry. It’s not always easy to admit you’ve done something wrong and to ask for forgiveness or to be given a pass for your gaffe, but it is a valuable skill to master.
How easily do you say “I’m sorry”? It’s been shown that individuals who are self-aware are able to admit they’ve made a mistake. If you work for a company and you or a co-worker make a mistake the financial ramifications can be measured against the bottom line especially if the mistake costs the company a client or to miss a deadline.
To successfully navigate an apology you should:
- Make it straightforward. Don’t embellish or lay blame
- Share what you’ve learned as a result of the mistake
- Explain how it happened. You’re not making excuses, you’re simply explaining yourself and this may lead to an understanding in the future of the need to have information written down and agreed upon.
- What can you do to make certain the mistake doesn’t happen again?
- If you simply made an error in judgement, a simple apology can go a long way in soothing ruffled feathers.
Is there anyone in your life — whether personal or professional — to whom you owe an apology?