Whenever you are in some service – or when you are taking risks, making things happen, interacting with others, or in the public eye – you are bound to make mistakes. At times you are going to use bad judgment, say something wrong, offend someone, criticize unnecessarily, be too demanding, or act selfishly. The question isn’t whether you will make these mistakes – we all do. The question is, can you admit to them? If so, the question becomes, can you apologize?
Many people never apologize. They are either too self-conscious, self-righteous, stubborn, or arrogant to do so. The unwillingness to apologize is not just sad; it is a serious mistake as well. Almost everyone expects others to make mistakes and with a humble and sincere apology, almost everyone is willing to forgive. However, if you are a person who is either unable or unwilling to apologize, you will be branded a difficult person to work with. And over time, people will avoid you, speak behind your back, and do nothing to help you.
The ability to apologize, to admit mistakes, is a beautiful human quality that brings people closer together and helps us succeed. By simply acknowledging our humanness and saying “I am sorry” when appropriate, we bond with others and increase their trust in us. Obviously, you must never apologize as a tool of manipulation, to try to get a response like this or to get something out of it.
When you apologize from your heart, you keep most of your existing doors open. Occasionally, you may even open doors that had previously been closed.