Stop Saying Sorry

Joshua A. Luna
November 18, 2022
Stop Saying Sorry
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TLDR

Teachable Moment: Skip the empty apology and focus on providing direct solutions to the problems you're involved in.

The Problem

As a leader, you might find yourself apologizing for things that don’t warrant an apology.

You might be concerned about how your team perceives you and even feel the need to over-apologize to make up for any mistakes you might make in the future.

While it’s important to be aware of your actions and take responsibility for them, you don’t want to apologize so much that people start to tune you out.

This signals to your employees that you’re not in control or lack confidence - all telltale signs of a weak leader.

If you apologize constantly, your team might start to feel like they can’t make any mistakes, which will also erode their confidence and create an environment based on fear.

The Solution

If you constantly apologize at work, try taking a step back and evaluating why you’re doing it.

Are you really at fault, or are you just being too hard on yourself?

You might even be saying it out of habit.

Identify the specific situations in which you feel the need to apologize.

Then, take a moment to assess whether or not you really need to and if it will actually solve the problem.

If the answer is yes, make sure you apologize genuinely and sincerely.

If not, try to find a more appropriate way of dealing with the issue that doesn’t involve apologizing, such as expressing empathy or offering a direct solution.

Make sure to use your judgment when deciding when and how much you should apologize.

When done correctly, it can be a powerful tool in building strong relationships and fostering healthy team dynamics.