Yesterday there was a bruhaha over a politician’s misstep followed by a bungled apology.
If you follow New York City politics, you likely know what I am referring to. If you do not, then the details and who said it are not important. What is important is that someone misspoke, and when confronted with it, she gave an apology that made it worse.
Everyone makes mistakes. It is impossible not to. We just need to try to make less of them and learn from them. What I have found out through serious study, analysis and evaluations (and also through a lot of mistakes) is that it is part of life and no one really holds it against you as long as you own up to it, apologize and tell them you will make sure it won’t happen again. I am assuming that none of the mistakes will cripple or kill someone or cause a building to collapse. If that is the case, then skip the rest of this blog.
What really upsets people are lame excuses attempting to mitigate the damage or pass on blame.
When you are confronted with an error you made, deal with it immediately and then move on. Also, if you can, correct it right away! And graciously!
If someone under you makes a mistake, apologize as if you made the mistake. You did! You didn’t supervise your subordinate properly.
Life’s too short to get caught up with things we cannot control. Apologize and then go forward. Denying or passing on the blame keeps you mired in the past.