Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Know How to Say I am Sorry

You are probably thinking, how in the world does this have to tie into starting a movement? I am sorry....really?

Some of the most powerful words in a leader's life are "I love you," "You are doing an amazing job," "It is an honor to work along side of you," and "I am sorry."

Sounds pretty easy, just two words. Try again.

My wife, Dianna, and I were arguing one day. Afterwards I said, "I am sorry. (then here it comes) BUT, I did it because...." I started to defend myself. My wife looked at me and said, "Are you really sorry or just making an excuse?"

How do you apologize? If a leader misunderstands you or you say something to one of your leaders that offends them, how do you respond?

Here are the levels of "I am Sorry:" (3 being the worst and 1 being the best). This is your response to a leader confronting you because you hurt them:
  • 3) Well, I did it because of ______________. If it hurt you then, I am sorry, but I said or did it because of_________. (this is terrible, really)
  • 2) I know I hurt you and I am sorry. But, here is why I HAD to do this. If you were in my shoes, you would feel the same way. (a little better than #3)
  • 1) I am so sorry. I have to apologize that my comments hurt you. I may have not meant them or this action that way, I but I see that you are hurt and offended. I am sorry and I ask for your forgiveness. (not with a "smart-allic tone")
I recently heard a friend tell me how a leader tried to apologize and he said to me, "I think he tried to apologize, but never really did and kept giving reasons and defending himself."

Just two words. You don't need a disclaimer. Drop the defensiveness. Don't go to all your friends or church members and try to justify yourself.

People will be more likely to follow you and work with you if you do this.

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