Have you ever said sorry at work ?
A few weeks back I was talking to a colleague about how frustrated and upset I was with his behaviour, especially as agreed task where not being delivered.
When I asked him if he thought his behaviour was acceptable with a sheepish look on his face he said no. when I probed a little further and asked him to rate his recent performance he said with a serious stare it was below average.
So why then was this guy behaving this way?
He told me that that he was raised never to say Sorry. Saying sorry for him was a sign of weaknesses and that you should never ever say sorry no matter how bad you f#*k up!!!
This got me wondering – why is sorry such a hard word for some people to say?
In the case of my colleague, he said it was his upbringing but what other reasons are there why people don’t say sorry?
Let’s get a few things clear…. I’m talking about when you are aware you messed up, its that voice inside your head that tells you or its the feeling you get in your stomach.
I’m not talking here about saying sorry & accepting responsibility for something that was not your handy work, such as covering for another colleague’s mistake.
I’m talking here about an error of judgement, misunderstanding, getting your wires cross or simply being an a**h*** which then results in your boss/colleague/team member getting upset …
Which then got me thinking….. How many times have you missed opportunities because you didn’t say sorry?
How many job promotions have you been passed over for because you tried to cover up rather than own a situation and say sorry?
Was there ever a time in your work life where had you have been honest and shown you are vulnerable & occasionally prone to making mistakes it could have made work life better?
3 Benefits to saying sorry and how that will help you earn more money
- Shows you are human and vulnerable like the rest of us.
- Shows you have strength of character by taking responsibility & owning it – Even great leaders make mistake.
- It creates a space to have open, honest communication which results in working towards a solution. Removing animosity.
How to say sorry?
Here’s an example you can use the next time you make a mistake
First – at the earliest opportunity go to your boss/team/client and explain what happened.
Be clear and concise
If you are going to own it – Own it. Admit the error. Don’t blame your mother, the cat or the next door neighbour.
Show remorse – It will endear you to the person whom you are apologising to.
Offer solutions on how you will help fix or improve the situation. This may involve giving the person space to digest what has happened.
Avoid the fake sorry
This is when you pretend to say sorry to manipulate a person or situation – 8 out of 10 the person picks this up and you loose favour as a result. Trust me
Laughing whilst saying sorry – may sound obvious however smiling whilst saying sorry is a no no
If you are owning it then don’t blame others. Stick to the role you played in the situation and express with heart what went wrong
The fact is we are human that means we are going to make mistakes but it’s how we react after the mistake that either helps us rise and become better or makes us loose credibility.
When was the last time you avoided saying sorry?
How did you feel when someone messed you around and refused to say sorry?
Have you avoided saying sorry & why?
Share your thoughts in the comments below
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