When you make a mistake do you try and hide it? Or maybe jump through hoops in an effort to explain? Or perhaps offer a conditional apology?
Conditional apologies drive me nuts.
A recent example occurred last week when the Irish Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, was speaking in the Dáil. (The Dáil is the lower house of Ireland’s legislative branch.)
Minister Shatter said “If Deputy Wallace feels that I did him some personal wrong by mentioning it, then I have no problem in saying I am sorry.”
The deputy in question, Mick Wallace, had allegedly been cautioned by the Garda (Irish police) for use of a mobile phone while driving – and had been let go with just a caution. Mick Wallace felt that the Minister shouldn’t have had that information and also shouldn’t have disclosed it in the Dáil.
In business if you’re not making some mistakes then you’re either doing nothing (of worth) or else you’re a liar!
We all make mistakes. And if yours are not visible to you then ask your customers – they should be able to tell you about one or two!
And whenever you find out that you’ve messed up, admit it, apologise, fix whatever went wrong (if it’s fixable) and then move on. And if the mess involves a customer or supplier then some sort of gesture might be in order.
And do this fast – that’ll minimise the damage done and will also show integrity. And that might just be a sound business investment!
If you’d like to receive posts like this as emails just sign up below and they’ll come direct to your intray – roughly once a week.