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I’m Sorry, So Sorry….

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This week I found myself apologizing to another professional whom I misjudged. Can’t you hear Brenda Lee playing softly in the background? I swear if my life was a reality show I would’ve had it running.

I don’t know about you, but this is a tough place for me cause I’m seldom wrong… I know, I know what kind of statement is that? While it may seem rude it is usually true. Not because I’m gifted or anything, solely because I take my time making decisions and do my best to see all sides of the situation. Normally I gather all my facts first, and then make a decision based upon evidence and God’s direction. This time though, I jumped the gun and made a hasty decision based strictly on my perspective, which resulted in a giant FAIL.

So what did I do? How did I admit my fault? Did the person receive my apology? Did I ignore it?
Well.. I did ignore it at first, but my conscience eventually got the best of me- pushing out a timely response. Despite my initial dodge ball-like efforts, I handled the situation as best I could and mustered up an accurate yet kind concession. The person listened while I explained my thought process and then accepted my admission. All-in-all it went rather well.

What did I take away from this experience? I ‘ll share four steps I encourage all co-workers to practice when admitting fault:

1). Admit when you’re wrong- Trust me I know it’s hard to confess when you’re wrong but let’s face it sometimes it happens. Don’t draw it out like me, in the words of Nike- Just do it!
2.) Cut to the chase- Don’t paint a picture or dance around the issue. State immediately what the problem is or was and apologize. Do not spend 20 minutes talking about why you thought your idea or actions were better. Some might say your response isn’t really a genuine apology but more a persuasive speech on why you’re always right.
3.) Give credit where credit is due- If someone you work with does a good job or has a fabulous idea, let them know. Why should good ideas or deeds go unnoticed? Make it a point of recognizing this person’s accomplishment.
4.) Reopen lines of communication: Obviously there is or was a communication gap between you and this person, otherwise you would’ve supported their concept in the beginning. Use the one-on-one confrontation as an opportunity to spark new professional relationships and creativity. You might also want to find out best how this person likes to be communicated with and please share the same with them regarding your habits. It will cut back on awkward moments in the future, I promise!

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