How to admit your mistakes and apologise properly

We may like to think that we’re always right, but every now and again something happens where the blame genuinely falls on you. When this happens, you need to resist the urge to go on the offensive or retreat into your shell. Yes, it’s time to admit to your mistakes and make a genuine apology for them. This isn’t easy for a lot of us, so here are a few tips to help you through it. Remember everyone has a different view of the world, and interactions – your view may not necessarily be right. You may have wittingly, or unwittingly, caused offence or distress so take ownership of it. This is a major source of self- growth.

Face it head on

Now is not the time to shift the blame to someone else or ignore the issue altogether. You need to admit that you’ve made a mistake and face up to anyone who was affected by it. Avoiding them can lead to tension building over time, causing strained relationships.

Show remorse

When the time comes to apologise, you need to make sure that you mean it. Don’t just say the words for the sake of saying them, because the person receiving the apology will see that it’s not genuine. Think about the consequences of your action and why you should feel remorseful, and this will show in your apology.

Acknowledge the other person’s feelings

If your actions have hurt another person or caused undesirable consequences for them, then it is important to address this in your apology. Understand how the other person feels and how your actions have caused this, and make sure you acknowledge this when you’re apologising.

Try to make amends

It won’t always be possible, but if there is a way to make up for what you’ve done, then do it! Perhaps your actions at work caused a co-worker to have to stay late to catch up with your work. Offer to take some work off their hands to make up for it, giving them a bit of a break.

Whether you’ve made a mistake at work or at home, apologising is always the best way to approach the situation. For more coaching advice like this, follow me on Twitter for all my latest updates. Or call me on +44 (0) 7531 228089 to find out more about my coaching services.