There once was a leader who accused a project team member of failing to hit a deadline. He delivered his accusation in front of the entire team. Even when the leader realized that the failure was due to something neglected on his desk for over a week, he refused to apologize. The failed relationship turned into negative team conversations that robbed the project of energy.
One apology could have made the difference.
— An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything. ~Lynn Johnston —
How Apologies are Misused
On a recent business call, I was frustrated by a leader who I felt was blocking forward movement. Finally I said, “Would it appease you if we did the following?” She responded and said, “The word ‘appeasement’ insinuates that I don’t have a valid point and you’re not listening to me.” She was right. I came back and said, “Well, I’m sorry if you think that’s what I mean, but what I’m saying is …”
Ladies and gentleman, apologizing for the other person is not a sincere apology. I never delivered the apology that might have healed that relationship. I’m going to do it today.
Other ways that we undermine the apology include:
3 Ways to Deliver Positive Apologies
Healthy people don’t want apologies to prove they’re right; they want apologies because they’ve been hurt.
–The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt. ~G.K. Chesterton–
With this fact in mind, try the following techniques:
These techniques can be used with your team or a significant other. Either way, there’s nothing that will mend a relationship faster than a sincere, specific, timely apology.
— Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift. ~Margaret Lee Runbeck —