If you’re in wellness long enough, you’re going to screw up. If you don’t, you’re not trying hard enough. How you handle the apology, and more important, what you do after, will increase or decrease the respect you and your program receive. It’s your choice. Some suggestions:
- Call it what it is. Don’t try to offer a non-apology apology. If poor communication led to a misunderstanding, apologize for the communication, not the misunderstanding. Don’t lay partial blame on the victim if you weren’t clear. Likewise, if you were clear, don’t apologize for someone else not paying attention. Be specific in what you’re sorry for.
- Take responsibility. “I take full responsibility” has become so trite as to be meaningless. Say what you did wrong and what you should have done instead.
- Say what you plan to do going forward. And do it. Sincere apologies are about actions, not words.
- Add it to your “1 Dumb Confession.” Our account management team has a weekly agenda item where they share a dumb thing they did the previous week as a way to learn from other’s mistakes. Share yours with others on your wellness team so they not only avoid the same mistake, but learn the right way to apologize.