Is there a right way and a wrong way to apologize?
When should you make an apology? When will it be authentic, offered in the right spirit, and with a better chance of being genuinely accepted?
As you know, a lot of apologies are accepted, but the person who says, “I accept your apology” might not really mean it.
So, let’s take a look at the apology conversation so that you can be in The Energy to make two positive outcomes take place.
One outcome is that the apology you make is heartfelt and genuine… that you don’t deceive yourself or simply go through the motions because you think it’s the easiest way to get what you want.
The other outcome is that your heartfelt apology is recognized as being genuine… and it’s genuinely accepted.
Here’s How You Can Break Free From The Apology Trap
If you’ve looked at some of my other blog posts, perhaps you’ve read about my student who is a global business consultant.
If not, don’t worry. Here’s what happened with my student.
His relationship with his client soured because of personality frictions and a misunderstanding.
The consultant thought that the quick solution to put this misunderstanding to rest was to apologize and move on.
So, let me take you through the whole conversation between the consultant and his client.
(It will help you see what to do and what not to do.)
Getting Off On The Wrong Foot
The consultant started off by telling his client, “Oh, by the way, the last time that we interacted I felt badly that there was a misunderstanding. We really wanted you to know everything. However, we felt like for some reason it didn’t come across that way at all for you.”
Now, that’s not an apology.
It’s a half-hearted and vague attempt to spread the blame around. There is no accountability and no acceptance of responsibility.
So, I asked the consultant, “What did you say when you apologized to your client?”
Here’s what he said to his client.
“I wanted to apologize for not coming to you first when we had something to say to your team leader. We did not mean to disrespect you – it was a misunderstanding. We thought that your team leader had already talked to you about it. But, still, we should have come to you.”
He could have said all that without wrapping it into an apology.
As soon as you refer to something as an apology, The Matrix fires off in the other person’s mind.
The Matrix is a collection of toxic and limiting thoughts that are based on negative events that took place in the past.
When you say it’s an apology, you veer off the topic of interaction.
You’re looking for a dispensation, some kind of a get out jail free card.
It’s as if you are asking for a favor when there’s no need to.
All you need to do is inform.
You state the facts, and when you are in The Energy, stating facts in a way that connects with the other person is what comes naturally.
That’s because of your ability to think at a higher level.
You don’t need to grasp for the crutch of an apology when an apology is not necessary and not appropriate.
Do you get it?
In this situation, what the consultant should have said was something that helped the client view what happened as a misunderstanding.
Using the word “apology” got in the way of effective communication.
The better outcome was to help the client see that the issue has been acknowledged, addressed, and that it’s time to move forward.
The Alternative To Making An Apology
What should the consultant have told his client?
I suggested something like this…
“We can easily give you what you want. We are more than able to keep you informed. We can see that didn’t work in the past. We would like to get you the best solution right away. So, our solution would be to do A, B, and C.s. What else do you have to say to add to that?”
Do you see how much better that would be than an apology?
When you are having a conversation like this, you are in the human connection mode.
In effect you are saying…
“We are clear that there was a misunderstanding and that was not our intent.”
You want the other person to know that this is not the way you play ball.
You want him to know that you really want what works for him.
And now that you realize what will work for him is keeping him informed and that he can count on you. That is what he wants to hear.
When you communicate like this, the other person will usually react positively and say, “Well, that’s good.”
This is when you should ask a question, such as…
“Is there something else that you would also like?”
This opens the doors to a broader conversation. It involves the other person. It dismantles any barriers.
A conversation like this, instead of an apology, is a much better way to build the relationship.
What To Do If Another Problem Develops
It’s not a perfect world, is it?
Let’s say the consultant and his client smooth things over. But later on, a new problem crops up.
In this situation, the client can’t say…
“You know, the last time you guys messed up you gave me an apology. It’s not going to happen again. Now your apology is worthless.”
Instead, he’ll probably say…
“The last time you talked to me you said you guys could be counted on to do this and that, what happened?”
Then, you can say…
“Here’s what we did and here’s what happened. We can fix that also. We’re on it. And, we want you to be kept informed.”
Be Creative, Be Proactive, And Offer A Solution
An apology is a request. It’s not proactive. It’s a step backward.
An apology will limit your way forward. Chances are it will only create an opportunity for The Matrix to come into play… and play games with you.
You want to be known as the person who is creative and who has a solution.
So, let me give you a solution, a way you can move forward and begin to experience The Energy.
It’s a gift, absolutely free, and I know you’ll find it incredibly useful.
In fact, this guided breathing exercise I’m giving you can be a huge first step in changing the way you connect with people.
You can get it here and start to use it right away…
Are you ready to experience the Energy?
One of the most profound & instantaneous ways to experience the Energy is through guided breathing exercises. Not to be confused with meditation, this ancient practice will guide you to a connection to the Energy you can use immediately in your life.
Get the Energy Immersion Breathing Exercise Audio
Please accept this gift with my best wishes.
And if you just let it sit there and don’t use it…
There’s no need to apologize.
Just keep in mind that this exercise is waiting for you to enjoy, and the impact it can make on your life can be enormous.