We have all unintentionally hurt someone who put their trust in us. In order to restore the relationship, you have to apologize to the other person. True leaders acknowledge or “own” their mistakes. Below are key components for making an effective, sincere apology:
- Respectfully admit you messed up.
- Take responsibility for your behavior or actions.
- Express remorse and say you are truly sorry.
- Ask what you can do (or offer) to make things right.
- Promise that it will not happen again.
- Make amends.
What NOT to do:
- Make excuses or rationalize your behavior.
- Downplay the situation by saying for example, “It was just a joke!”
- Turn it around and start blaming/criticizing the victim.
- Change the subject.