apologise

Titi’s Apology: 5 Ways To properly Apologise To Someone

Titi kissed her teeth and fumed. She did not understand why she had to apologise to the client when he was the one that called her ‘a big fat slob’. The only thing she had told him was that his mother was the big fat slob and he has been shouting back and forth in the company, explaining to anyone who cared to listen that she insulted his mother.

Her Boss asked her to apologise and she was headed to his office where the client was waiting. She entered the office and stood defiantly with no sign of remorse whatsoever. She was not wrong and this overbearing and rude client should not be allowed to walk all over her. They waited for her.

“I am sorry that you felt offended, but if you cannot take it, don’t dish it out”. Silence.

The client swivelled in his chair and observed her. “Is that it?” When she didn’t say anything else, he turned towards her boss. “I am sorry, but I will be taking my business elsewhere”. He got up and left, despite the bosses plea to reconsider.

As you’d guess, Titi was suspended. She had just cost the consultancy firm a major prospective client because she didn’t feel the need to apologise.

“I don’t care that he started it” Her boss had said when she tried to defend herself. “You could have apologised properly to appease him, while I subtly tell him he is not allowed to speak to staff in that manner. Your approach was all wrong and your actions cost us big time.”

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To avoid ‘stories that touch’ and be able to foster long-lasting relationships built on respect, you should know how to apologise properly. Here are 6 ways Titi could have handled it;

1. Express remorse

‘I am sorry.’ It’s that simple and magical.

2. Own your guilt

‘I was wrong to have dragged your mother into this.’ State clearly the reason why you are apologizing without sounding indignant.

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3. Ditch the blame game

A proper apology should never start with ‘sorry if I…’ or ‘I’m sorry but…’. You are being defensive and already defeating the purpose of the apology.

4. No passive voice

‘Sorry, you were offended’ suggests that the offended party should not have been offended in the first place and an apology like that will only aggravate the situation.

5. Offer to make amend

‘What can I do?’, ‘How can I make it up to you?’ Questions like this make the offended party feels pacified and sometimes thrown off-balance, as they were not expecting it.

Remember, your goal is not to accept every wrong done to you but to foster long-lasting relationships, choosing to lose the battle to win the war (in Titi’s case, gaining a new big client), build trust and respect.

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