Monday, October 6th, 2014

THE POWER OF “I’M SORRY”

When you feel the burden of guiding a large company you can get hooked on 
being right. You begin to think you should be right, you should know what you are doing all the time and that people want you to be better than you are.
So, you begin to act like you just might be right and better than you are. Or you get scared about the false self you are projecting and retreat.

I know you are aware that you screw-up. I’ve heard you laugh about it,
agonize about it, and shrug it off.  Mostly, I’ve seen you work hard to make right whatever you have made wrong.

But sometimes, you miss a step.  You don’t publicly acknowledge your mistake and apologize.  Easier to fix it than to apologize.

—I’m sorry I left your name of the recognition list.
Your work was great. I’m sending a new list but wanted you to know I felt bad about it.

—I’m sorry I called you out about “xyz” plan in the meeting.
I wish I would have waited to do it alone with you.
Not what I like to do.

—I’m sorry that the Board Meeting wasn’t up to snuff
You as Chairman should have a productive meeting.
Let’s plan it more specifically for next time

—I’m sorry your time got cut short for the presentation  I know you spent months on it.  I appreciate the effort.  

If you can think of an apology that makes you cringe, it is probably the one you need to make. Saying a true “I’m sorry” is not easy.  That’s why it’s so powerful 


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