How to apologize for a mistake professionally needs to be understood well to tender an apology. People try to master how to apologize to someone you hurt deeply.
This and the past year have proved to be very stressful and COVID-19 has disrupted lives leading to fraying of nerves. Whether people are dealing with pandemic-related difficulties or other concerns, there are moments when a person may not be at one’s best and may say something that he or she needs to apologize for. There may be moments when a person is interacting with relatives, friends, partners, and colleagues and may require healing and reconciliation. Thus, it is good to know when and how to apologize. Social as well as personal etiquette nurtures relationship both at home and outside the home. No matter who may be at fault, sometimes it helps to say “I’m sorry,” and thus make it up with the offended person.
It is important to understand the other person’s injury, offer sincere regret, make restitution, and also indicate that it will never happen again.
How to apologize for a mistake professionally is a million-dollar question and difficult to be answered.
Table of Contents
1. Listen closely before rushing to apologize
It is good to go in for quick apologies do help. For example, at the market, a person may bump into someone and it is good to say “sorry” and help the person pick up the groceries. Of course, at times in a given situation, it may not be advisable to apologize immediately. It is better to enquire how the other person feels and just listens to what the other person has to say without uttering anything.
2. Prepare the apology in advance when possible
People communicate differently. If a person chooses to forgive a person, connect via their comfort zone, not from their zone. Sometimes the apology may be tendered on phone or via epistolary missive, or Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or perhaps other multimedia. In case it is in written form it is a good idea to show the draft to a trusted person. Writing down the apology means there is a need to initially organize one’s thoughts to get it right. While forgiveness may not be guaranteed, this does help smooth things over.
3. Be specific and detailed in apology
The declaration that a person is being sorrowful is not sufficient. If someone does take the time to explain how the person is hurt then t is possible to understand their vulnerability by expressing one’s regret, and explaining why it all happened, and indicating how the hurt will be dealt with.
After an explanation is given, it is important to emphasize that the offended person is being understood and how harm has been done to him or her. It is better to make sure of follow-up action that such a thing does not happen again. Like for example in case a person has been waiting for the call and delay has been made to do so, it is better to say: “I’m sorry I was unresponsive. I was working overtime, but that does not excuse anything. You are important to me, and I understand how my actions caused you pain. In the future, I’ll shoot you a text ASAP to let you know when I’m free to call.”
4. Try not to turn the apology into a debate
“I’m sorry if I hurt you” or “I’m sorry, but I didn’t think you’d mind” can indeed undermine the apology and make the person who is hurt feel invalidated. Doubting a person’s hurt implies not taking responsibility for what has been said.
5. Active listening, rather than apologizing later
This involves making eye contact or otherwise making it clear that the person is being listened to rather than apologizing later. Preparing the rebuttal enables one to understand the impact of one’s missteps. Keeping this in view it is possible to make the apology more specific, heartfelt, and effective. It is good to make the other person feel he or she has been heard rather than asking clarifying questions later. The attentiveness does help to avoid the a repetition of mistakes.
Thus, it is important to know how to apologize to someone you hurt deeply.