Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Never Ruin an Apology With An Excuse

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I read a question recently on Linkedin.com asking whether managers and leaders should “ever” apologize. My answer is that this guy should apologize for asking such a lame question. Where is it written that apologies are unnecessary once the title of manager is on your business card?This one is easy. If you do have that business card with that title in your wallet then the rule is this: if you did it, you apologize. First. And quickly. And in a manner that ensures the receiver truly experiences the sincerity of the apology. It can’t be one of those crummy, “I’m sorry you feel bad” wimp-outs. When the receiver willingly forgives you then you really got the job done.Have you ever personally been wronged and felt there was no reason for an apology? Doubtful. Oh, you may settle to go on without an apology (because you knew you’ll never get it), but apologizing is a life rule, not a management rule. When you have been wronged, you deserve to be righted. When you do wrong, admit it and make amends. When a little kid whines "that's not fair", she's right. Life may not be fair, but the absolute least you can always do is apologize.An essential requirement for managers is to be a role model. To demonstrate the right behavior to the team. To do unto others - the right way. And to show others the best way to be in charge. When you offend, harm, insult, hurt or do wrong to another – even a mere employee – you fix it. YOU fix it. You FIX IT. Intention be damned. If you did it, apologize.
“It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one's heart rather than out of pity or duty. A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values in order to genuinely apologize”. Walt Whitman said that, and he lived in the woods, alone.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Common sense says treat people like people. Did they really have to ask that?

Dr. Letitia Wright
The Wright Place TV Show
http://wrightplacetv.com
www.twitter.com/drwright1

Christopher, directory submission service said...

Sometimes relations are restored when people express regret or apologize for what they have done. It also heals the mind of the person who was hurt.

ronncobb said...

In my long years as a manager I agree with you that an apology must be sincere. The apology will be accepted and the relation will be sustained if the manager's character and reputation is well established. Also, seeing the funnel cake sign reminded me of these photos that were recently sent to me by a friend in Holland. I thought you might like to see why a sign like this might be needed. http://bit.ly/59O8NW

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