Posted by: healingtheworkplace | November 23, 2009

Say You’re Sorry And Rebuild Trust In Your Workplace

HI there,  Why is it that Canadians are always saying “We’re sorry?” Where did this need to apologize come from? I have no idea but I did ask Google and discovered on online dialogue about this very subject. Could it be that we are just trying to be polite?

I’m sorry (whoops there I go again) if I’m belabouring the point but perhaps Canadians are on to something here.  Being able to apologize can go a long way toward having healthy relationships.

Given the amount of time most of us spend with other people every day, this should be a priority for everyone.

In fact  there seems to be a growing interest in the role that apology can play in creating a healthy, functional workplace.

This weekend I came across a new book called “Effective Apology: Mending Fences, Building Bridges, Restoring Trust” by Jon Kador.

If you check out Jon’s website you can also complete a quiz that tests your Apology Quotient or AQ. I barely passed the quiz and was told that I need to work on my apology skills. Hmmmm. I seem to be apologizing all the time–perhaps there’s something more?

When was the last time you told someone at work that you were sorry?

There are numerous reasons why it is important to apologize when you have done something wrong. Apart from the obvious strengthening of your relationships you may find there are other benefits.

This is especially true if you are in a leadership position. According to a study conducted by the Queen’s University School of Business in Kingston, Ontario,

“leaders who apologize consistently, when they have made mistakes, are seen to be more transformational, ethical, influential, trustworthy, caring and considerate.”

And if that is not a strong enough reason for leaders to apologize consider this,

“executives who apologize earn more than executives who never apologize”.

So what can we do? Well no matter who you are it is important to both know how to apologize and also to know how to accept an apology. Let’s start with how to go about apologizing effectively:

  • Make in genuine
  • Don’t justify your actions
  • Make a commitment to change
  • Choose your words carefully
  • Be prepared for the unexpected

You can’t control how the other person will react but at least you will have done your part.



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