How to Say I’m Sorry

Sorry - letterpress printed folded greeting card - Apology - Blank Inside

We’ve been talking a fair bit on how to best apologise in our casa of late.  It seems this is not the easiest thing to do for some – apologies are often shrouded in “buts” pushing the responsibility somewhat, if not totally, on to the other person.  For example – “Sorry I pushed you over and where your hand once was is a now a stump squirting blood everywhere, BUT you were in my way” and the like (PS not cool).

In business particularly, this does not translate or go down well.  Customer complaints must be dealt with sensitively, especially when your customer has been inconvenienced, embarrassed or offended.

The thing about an apology is that you’ve got to mean it, it’s got to be genuine and done in a way that cares for the other person.  Keepin’ it simple, there are 3 critical components to an apology:

  1. Say You Are Sorry
  2. Acknowledge That It’s Your Fault
  3. Find out what you can do to make it right

An apology shouldn’t be a half-hearted attempt in order to move on quickly, but more it needs to be full of caring and empathy and a willingness to work through the issue further if needed.

In her blog today, CEO and Community Builder, Liz Strauss shared a post by Women with Drive Founder, Molly Cantrell-Kraig, who notes:

When we apologize, we allow for expansiveness and possibility. We are taking responsibility for the action that caused someone else pain or inconvenience. Accountability for our actions leads to mindfulness, which in turn allows us to change our actions. This chain of decisions anchors independence. 

I also came across this little ditty that I thought was very useful: Apologising means “that you value your relationship more than your ego”.

I think this is all great food for thought and shows, with a little TLC, sorry does not need to be the hardest word.

“Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.”   Margaret Lee Runbeck (again by @mckra1g via @lizstrauss)

On that note I wish you a happy and productive week.



2 responses

  1. I’m so glad that my blog spoke to you today. I’ve been very lucky to blog for Liz for the past year. It has enabled me to meet so many new people that I otherwise would not know about.

    I hope you have a wonderful day! My best, M. 🙂

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