5 Times An Apology Can Be A Good Career Move

We all mess up at work; it’s how you handle things afterwards that reveals your character and professionalism (or lack of it).

In the workplace, there are situations where an apology can be a good career move. For example:

1. Clients. First of all, “the customer is always right” is not always true. However, to maintain the relations, you make things right. That usually includes an apology.

2.  The Boss. Humbling up to your boss demonstrates that you’re willing to take the punches and take responsibility even if only to get the job done—which is the ultimate goal.  This requires humility and professionalism.

3. Coworkers. If you work with someone who is highly sensitive or easily offended, you aren’t going to change them. You have a couple of options; waste time trying to argue your point or give them what they want (an apology) and get on with your life.

4. You behaved rudely. There is still a standard of what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the workplace. This doesn’t mean that people adhere to it. Nor does it mean that because no one points it out, it is acceptable. Apologizing for your rude behavior demonstrates professionalism and maturity.

5. You failed to keep your word.Hey, sorry I didn’t call you back…the line at the deli was crazy long…reception was bad…then I had to blah, blah, blah…” And how does that rectify the situation?  Apologize for failing to come through and immediately fix it!

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. -Benjamin Franklin Click To Tweet

Apology Habits

Gender differences. A piece written by Karina Schumann and Michael Ross for APS, Why Women Apologize More Than Men, states “This finding suggests that men apologize less frequently than women because they have a higher threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior.” Educating ourselves and acknowledging these ever-so slight and unique gender differences can diminish misunderstandings and alleviate the need for a courtroom battle. This alone will improve communication in the workplace.

Apology freak. This is a person, typically women, who apologize for everything and everyone, even when they had nothing to do with it. The trouble with tossing out an “I’m-sorry-for-existing” is that it can become annoying. And, when you apologize for something you actually did, it might get dismissed.

Related links:

Television appearance: KTLA – Why employees are less likely to believe a CEO’s apology

5 Ways The Apology Has Lost Its Value

Final thoughts: Sometimes we believe that we do not owe that person an apology–in that case, weigh the options and the pros and cons. Then answer this question, What would help resolve the dilemma so that you can both move on?


Combating Rudeness and Helping Businesses and Individuals Build a More Respectful Workplace Through Social Skills, Effective Communication, and Modern Business Manners

having lunch with a CEO, business dining etiquette

Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills, Communication Skills, Business Etiquette Expert, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.

Presentations are available to support HR policies and harassment compliance, address concerns, or to avert potential inclinations – Up and coming managers – Millennials – Interns – New-hire orientation process – Layoffs to help prepare them for interviews – Professional development events or conferences – College/university students  –  Athletes on pubic behavior  –  Actors to prepare for roles  –  NEW! Attorneys; polish client’s professional presence for court appearance

For more information, please contact me via email, or by calling 650.871.6200 before a dilemma turns into front page news.


Disclaimer: My advice is general and may not suit your particular situation. Additionally, to keep it brief, my answers are basic. Lastly, there is always more than one way to handle a dilemma.  Copyright 2018, Rosalinda Randall. All Rights Reserved

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