Just hearing those four words sends my dogs into a tail dropping, ear drooping, cowering position of wretched submission and shame.
Don’t you wish you could say that to some coworkers, vendors, customers or advisors periodically and get the same reaction? Why is it so hard for some people to admit they’ve made a mistake?
Is it fear of looking foolish? Worry about a possible lawsuit? Pigheaded obstinance and a humungous ego that will not allow any sign of capitulation? Maybe it will cost some money to admit an error? Perhaps he or she is just a jerk?
Please don’t let that stop you from apologizing if you were wrong, or, at the very least, acknowledging there might have been a problem.
How bad does it feel to be ill-treated by someone you work with, be they vendor, coworker or client? And, how much of a difference does it make to hear those beautiful words:
- “I’m sorry.”
- “That was my fault.”
- “I overreacted.”
- “I was wrong.”
- “I feel like I’ve hurt you, but that was not my intention.”
- “I can see why you might feel like that, and I’m sorry.”
Some companies spend tens of thousands of dollars training their employees to properly handle customer complaints. Often, a simple and honest apology will do what a full-page, scripted “mea culpa, but not really” will not do—assuage the feelings that somehow got hurt.
Are you someone that should apologize to a client, coworker or vendor?
Yea, I thought so.
What are you waiting for? GO DO IT NOW!