Leaders have been encouraged to stop making excuses and simply apologize when they make mistakes. Good advice, but it isn’t enough to say you’re sorry.
It really isn’t that hard to apologize. What is really hard is changing your behavior, so that you don’t mess up again.
Think about the last time you had to apologize at work. Ask yourself:
Do you understand the root cause of the problem?
Have you taken steps to correct it?
Does the wronged party know about your efforts to make a real change?
Leadership means saying you’re sorry and then doing something about it. If you can’t do the second step, you’d better practice your heart-felt apology. You’ll need to say it again soon.
Change is easier with a partner.
Photo from iStockphoto.
Thanks for sharing this, an empty or repeated apology for the same behavior will reveal your insincerity. A very effective means of undermining trust within an organization.
By the way, I am sorry I have not posted in awhile.
Amen! There’s nothing more disheartening for followers than having a leader keep making the same types of mistakes over and over and having the leader believe that saying “my bad” multiple times is the appropriate approach.
I have a “3 strikes and you’re out” limit for most people in my life (including myself). I absolutely agree that if I find that an apology is needed, then the onus is upon me to figure it out and not go there again.
I’m not sure I feel the need to communicate my endeavors to “do/be better” to the person I apologized to–after all, actions speak louder than words and if they’re paying attention they’ll take note that I’m doing things differently.
We can all make mistakes; however, I believe that if we’re being authentic and honest the need to apologize for our actions or something we’ve said is greatly reduced. Leaders who learn that vulnerability is not weakness will discover that apologizing for their mistakes doesn’t take away from the their ability to lead–unless they’re saying “my bad” too often. Then all bets are off!