I Made a Mistake, I Am Sorry…

How many times have you heard “I made a mistake, I am sorry” – coming out of a superior’s mouth?

I don’t think you answered out loud, ‘cause I didn’t hear you or maybe very few have an affirmative answer.

I am sorry

Photo Pexels

Apologizing when you are wrong should be normal no matter what the business card states.

What should one consider when apologizing and you are a manager:

  • Say it straight, without any twist of phrase, b*llshit or insincerity;
  • Address people in a personal manner;
  • Don’t think it over. The sooner you do it, the better;
  • If you are wrong you must apologize. Period. The same as a parent has to apologize to their kid when he/she is wrong;
  • There are cases when you can’t hold on to a promise and you should act in accordance;
  • Don’t imagine that such “move” will indent your authority or power and you’ll suddenly be vulnerable in front of your employees. On the contrary, you can be very surprised by their reactions when you do it for the first time;
  • Explain what happened, what led to making a mistake. It won’t hurt if you speak about the corrective action you’ll take from now on;
  • Don’t blame others, even if it’s not entirely your fault. “I am sorry that I was also obliged to do this to you”;
  • By doing all these when you make a mistake, you encourage your staff to do the same when they make a mistake;
  • Don’t use “if” to apologize in a shallow manner: If you feel bothered by me calling you an idiot, I am sorry;
  • Don’t use the word but: “I am sorry I yelled at you, but…” If you do this, you put the blame on someone else;
  • Don’t forget you are managing people, even if you are perfect, doh… In any relationship, each person involved makes mistakes from time to time;
  • When your decisions affect others in a negative way;
  • You need some courage to do this.

“The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.”

Edward John Phelps

Yes, it’s very hard to admit you were wrong (are wrong) when you are a manager. Because you, as their superior, are the highest authority in the company and if you have something to say everyone should listen, right? You are the boss, go figure!

It’s never too late to learn how to apologize, a true leader doesn’t make excuses, nor does he/she blame others. If you end up apologizing too often, maybe you are doing something wrong.

Good luck succeeding!