Sorry, I'm Not Sorry

How to Apologize Like a Boss

Saying the words "I'm sorry" is the worst way to apologize when you’re on the job. This is because the work force is an intricate and eclectic environment, that test our ability and character on a daily basis. Most of us look up to, inspire to be and possibly supersede our authoritative figures in the near future. Competition is fierce in many fields, and for this reason, some incline to become more apologetic than customary; in lieu of utilizing learning curves and a wide range of lexicon words to our advantage. Apologizing is a noble act, and should be used sparingly; only when your actions create unusually negative situations for others. When you say "I'm sorry", you potentiate the receiver; so it is crucial to gauge the amount of power given to others, and carefully decide whether it should be given in the first place. Apologizing doesn't dismiss you from the guilt, nor does it make the problem go away. Perpetually apologizing can also make it seem as if you’re not robust and you run the jeopardy of coming off hypocritical. It is best to acknowledge the problem and place an active plan in motion to correct the issue. 


Here are three ways to constructively absorb responsibility for a negative action, that can be corrected with a solid proactive plan:

1.     Pardon Me: “Pardon me” can be used when you are apologetic for interrupting someone. It can also be used to excuse yourself from not fully understanding ideas, saying something rude, and it's also a polite way of obtaining someone's attention. “Pardon me” can also be used to show respect before disagreeing with someone.

An example of acclimating an interruption in a conversation, is the following example;

"Pardon me (boss name), there's an update that requires your immediate attention. I have it on hand, but if you prefer, I can place it on your desk."

2.   “I understand your disappointment and frustration. Let's try __________ to resolve the matter.” 

By exhibiting empathy to others, it levels the playing field and puts you on the same level as them. "Understanding" is what most of us would prefer, then to aurally perceive a hollow "sorry". Providing a solid plan on how you intend on moving forward shows that you care enough to transmute the outcome into a more auspicious result. This method shows vigor, leadership and the faculty to be innovative during adverse situations. How we deal with conflict displays our character, supervisors will notice indispensable traits and have a front row seat to view your problem solving abilities. This method also shows your ability to think on your feet, by turning mistakes into solutions and future standard of procedures (SOP).

3.  "It wasn't my intention to ________, I understand the severity of the situation and I won't repeat these actions. I hope you can understand and I would like us to discuss further."


This approach acknowledges your error, shows that it wasn't a part of your plan and that you’re working on becoming proactive to keep it from happening again. This approach also expresses regret, accepts responsibility, requests forgiveness and shows a desire to change behavior. 


Saying "I'm sorry" when you’re not responsible, weakens your interpretation of an apology and doesn't seem sincere. It doesn't keep others from having or expressing certain feelings and opinions about a situation. Keeping your integrity intact while keeping dialogue open, leads to the “patching up” process and encourages a mutual understanding. Actions speak louder than "I'm sorry" and not repeating the act shows that you're aware of the situation and how it affects others. There are certain situations that calls for a "sorry" to be given, but only in extreme circumstances. Don't rush to apologize because of someone's anger. You know when you will need to use the "S" word, just so you don't come off as a sugar-coater. Never use the word "but" when apologizing and use your strength and humility to show your genuine. Reflecting and assessing situations to figure out a proactive and productive approach will produce effective results. Aim to bow out of situations with style and grace- while executing a plan of action that can be applied to future situations.