When you’re at work, it can be tempting to jump to saying “sorry” as soon as something goes a little wrong or someone gets angry – but should you actually be so quick to apologise?
Saying sorry can immediately put you on the back foot and can be a sign of weakness – if you are so quick to say sorry, you could be diminishing your credibility without realising it. Whilst we are all for apologising if we have genuinely made a mistake and done something wrong, having this as your default position may mean that people are going to take advantage.
Next time someone sends you an angry email or blames you for something, take a moment to consider if you have made a mistake and if there is something you need to apologise for. If there is, go for it, be polite and professional and apologise – take responsibility and accountability and confirm the steps that will be taken to fix the problem and ensure it doesn’t happen again. If, however, you haven’t actually made a mistake and don’t have anything to apologise for then don’t apologise – you should still be polite and professional but why not instead say something like “it is regrettable that this has happened” or “I completely appreciate how frustrating this is” – you may be surprised at how this subtle change puts you in a different (stronger) position!