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The careerist: How to apologise

Jul 17th

Saying sorry at work is often difficult, especially as many see it as a tacit admission of weakness. The goal should be to offer a good apology that leaves you stronger and enhances your reputation.

By Rhymer Rigby, The Financial Times

Saying sorry at work is often difficult, especially as many see it as a tacit admission of weakness. The goal should be to offer a good apology that leaves you stronger and enhances your reputation. To achieve this means striking a balance between contrition and not undermining your own position.

Why do people struggle with apologies?

“Some people believe saying sorry is a sign of weakness and an admission of wrongdoing that can damage your prospects,” says corporate psychologist Ben Williams.

“But the reverse is true. It’s a sign of tremendous strength and confidence. Mistakes are also learning experiences, and it is important to acknowledge them.” Virginia Merritt of Stanton Marris, the strategic leadership consultancy, adds: “Apologising for wrong judgment calls is becoming a powerful demonstration of real leadership. It can be a very brave thing to do and can really humanise leaders.”…

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This article is filed under: leadership

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