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8 Huge No-No’s When Apologizing

8 Huge No-No’s When Apologizing

By Dr. Chris White

9 years ago




00:24 “But… Apology”
00:47 “I-Blame-You Apology”
01:05 “Conditional Apology”
01:27 “2-Worder Apology”
01:41 “Victim Apology”
02:02 “If Apology”
02:28 “Evaporating Apology”
02:43 “Interruption Apology”
03:15 #1 Dumb Thing Even Smart Leaders Do

Hi, I’m Dr. Chris White, NY Times best-selling co-author of The Flip Side and a PhD Statistician.

Here are 8 HUGE No-No’s When Apologizing.

I guarantee you’ve done many of these and I have to admit I’ve probably done them all!  So should I even be teaching on this–like one of my British friends said once, “Are you the plumber with the leaky tap?”  Maybe so, but the great thing is since I have to work at things like this I’m in the trenches with you and I’m not some ivory tower speaker who read this stuff in a book once!”  Let’s get right into it.

No-No #1 in Apologizing is the “But… Apology”

“I’m sorry…but I was really tired.” Or “I’m sorry…but I did that because I didn’t watch my Flippen Group video that morning.” or “I’m sorry but you started it!”  Let’s agree not to be a butt apologizer!  There may be a time to share factors/reasons but they often sound like excuses!

No-No #2 is the “I-Blame-You Apology”

“I’m sorry that you are too sensitive.” or “I’m sorry that we are having to talk about this.” or “I’m sorry you got so angry” or “I’m sorry you have a temper.”  Oh, I’ll show you a temper now!  Blaming them in your apology isn’t going to score any points.

No-No #3 is the “Conditional Apology”

“I’m sorry…[waiting, waiting…!]” [now apologize too or I’ll take it back!] or there’s also the “I’m sorry.” [and then the other person says something else stupid so I take it back or shut down]  Let’s be careful of having apologies that depend on them!

No-No #4 is the “2-Worder Apology”

“I’m sorry.”  The other person says: “For what?”  You respond: [silence]  My kids do this one a lot!

No-No #5 is the “Victim Apology”

“I’m sorry and I’ll never forgive myself!” aka “I’m sorry and I know I’m the worst _______ in the whole world!”   The Victim Apology could also show up as, “I’m sorry…I’ll never make a joke again!”

No-No #6 is the “If Apology”

They say: “You hurt my feelings.” You say: “I’m sorry if that hurt your feelings.” Another version would be this:  They say: “That bothered me.”  You cleverly sneak in: “I’m sorry if that bothered you.”  We think we’re being clever here, but especially if you do your eyebrows like I did, they’ll pick up on the insincerity!

No-No #7 is the “Evaporating Apology”

You say: “I’m sorry.”  Other person says: “What did you say?”  You respond [silence] “I’m not saying it again.”  Yeah, that one was here but quickly evaporated.

No-No #8 is “Interruption Apology”

Other person say: “You did _[this and that]_ and I felt _[this and that]_ and I wish you wouldn’t do _[this and that]_ and you never do _[this or that]_…” You respond abruptly: “I’m sorry!” This is also knows as the Please-Make-Them-Stop-Talking Apology, which doesn’t usually make the person feel terrible validated!

Look back at the 8 Huge No-No When Apologizing and pick one that you commit too often.  Then text 1 or 2 people and tell them which apology you are trying to avoid in the future.

If you liked this video, then you’ll love our webcast on the #1 Dumb Even Thing Smart Leaders Do. Click the link to register to watch it right now.

Whether you are focused on the bottom-line or have a deep desire to help your team grow and evolve, this webcast will help you understand the invisible and unproductive behavior patterns that are sabotaging you and your team. I think you’ll be surprised at the #1 Dumb Thing Even Smart Leaders Do. Don’t delay. Go ahead and register now.

Dr. Chris White

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