Sorry does seem to be the hardest word, but if you can master these steps in the apology process, you’re sure to make a good impression. These guidelines apply whether you’re apologizing for a personal error, or you’re writing an apology on behalf of a team or business.
- Say you’re sorry. Not, “I’m sorry, but . . .” Just plain ol’ “I’m sorry.”
- Own the mistake. It’s important to show the wronged person that you’re willing to take responsibility for your actions.
- Describe what happened. The wronged person needs to know that you understand what happened and why it was hurtful to them. Make sure you remain focused on your role rather than deflecting the blame.
- Have a plan. Let the wronged person know how you intend to fix the situation.
- Admit you were wrong. It takes a big person to own up to being wrong. But you’ve already reminded yourself that you’re a big person. You’ve got this.
- Ask for forgiveness. A little vulnerability goes a long way toward proving that you mean what you say.