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Sometimes, sorry seems to be the hardest word—at least, to the apologizer.
But what about the recipient of the apology?
Sometimes, in our haste to get it off our chests quickly, our apologies can actually make things worse—particularly if they are perceived as simply paying lip service.
In other words, saying “sorry” is oftentimes not enough to resolve things.
How to say sorry—properly
There is an art to the apology.
Let’s say you spoke out against a colleague’s idea at a meeting. You know they are hurt and disappointed that you didn’t support them.You’re not doing them any favours by walking up to your colleague afterwards to simply say “I’m sorry.”
Why? Because you probably don’t know the extent to which they are hurt: you’re lacking context of the situation.
As a result, your simple apology will likely come off as an empty, thoughtless “token sorry.”
Instead, consider doing the following:
Admit your mistake, and clean up quickly
Your apology loses impact with every passing second that you put it off.
Not only that: holding off on making an apology can add to the damage already felt by the person you offended.
This can lead to the creation of “camps” within any work environment—significantly decreasing employee engagement and positive organizational energy amongst colleagues.
So don’t let it fester or sit.
When you know an apology is necessary, do it quickly—and do it well.
Employee behaviour is the result of 5 Driving Needs. Learn how to identify your employees' emotional needs: click here for a FREE download of The Engagement Paradox white paper!
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
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