A business colleague told me, “Never Apologize!” I know he just meant, “No harm done, no need to be sorry.” But it got me thinking.
I don’t think people apologize enough.
Some people say that women apologize way too often. Don’t believe me? Watch this “Sorry Not Sorry” video and I bet you will recognize it. Out of habit we say, “I’m sorry, I have a question” or “I’m sorry, did you say something?”. We have nothing to apologize for. In those scenarios, it does border on weakness and not knowing your own value.
But I believe many people, mostly men, but women too, take it too far. They don’t think to ever say the words, “I’m sorry” even when they should.
For example, if I call to someone’s attention a work assignment they did incorrectly and they say something like, “I see that was a mistake” or “I will get that fixed”, that doesn’t sit right with me.
It is just not the same thing as saying, “Yes, I made that mistake, I am sorry, I will get it fixed.”
Why are those three little words so difficult to say?
I respect someone who takes responsibility for their mistakes and apologizes. After all, everyone makes mistakes. There is no need to dwell on it, but I think it should be acknowledged. Otherwise how will I know you will try not to do it again?
When I got married an older friend shared his secret to a happy marriage. He told my husband, “Repeat after me: “You’re right dear, I’m sorry, it will never happen again.” Of course, we laughed. If only it was that easy.
But I can tell you, that phrase, if said with complete sincerity, can actually cover over a multitude of sins. You’ll show that you understand the other person’s viewpoint, you accept responsibility for anything you might have done to contribute to the problem and you will try to learn from it in the future. I certainly don’t see the ability to do that as a sign of weakness.
I don’t think the phrase should be said so often that it loses its meaning, but I also don’t think that we should stop saying it altogether.
So, I’m sorry, but I hope I never stop apologizing.
By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing
Follow Me on Twitter: @AnyaCWMktg