This post is about the fine art of saying sorry, of fessing up to your mistakes. It is not about when search results end up directing you to some random content (although we’ve all been there too).
I’m saying sorry because I had a very different post in prep for today. Until I realised last night that not only was it not ready to go, but I wasn’t in any hurry with the editing. Because I was confused about the days of the week.
In my defence, as a freelance writer, I have never missed a clearly set deadline. I do know the order of the days of the week.
Except for this week.
The dog days of summer and the summer holidays. And there was a Bank Holiday to throw things out. I had deliberately not scheduled new work for this week to spend some time with my daughter. So it was the slightly horrific moment when she asked if she could work today (she’s a marvellous part-time waitress at a lovely restaurant), and I said I didn’t realise they got busy on a Wednesday lunchtime.
Thursday, she said.
One of the two days I post new content.
Sorry is not the hardest word
To me, you know when you’re in the wrong. I know that there aren’t many people waiting for my email to pop into their inbox twice a week. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep my promises.
Or admit to my failings, and say sorry.
Not try and wheedle out of it, just upfront say sorry. Wouldn’t the world be better if a few more people said sorry properly, rather than the weasly words that their “media” training gets them to deliver? Which is why most apologies don’t really sound sincere, or sorry.
Say sorry in the right way, and we might give you the benefit of the doubt
We are all human. Well, there’s a few that the jury is still out on, but most of us are imperfect fallible human beings. I’ve written before about being human in business, and therefore making mistakes is part of the risk.
Often, but not always, our businesses rely on other people as well. Like if you’re a fabulous coffee roaster relying on a courier to deliver your coffee to a fabulous deli. Only the courier screws up. And then takes forever to sort, in spite of being called out for it.
Let’s face it, forever these days is a much shorter period as well. Sixteen hours in today’s world is too long. But when it’s so easy to say sorry in that connected world, then why would you delay?
Saying sorry properly and promptly is amongst the best ways to put things right, to have the potential to turn a negative experience into a better one. If it’s a first poor experience, then we might well give you the benefit of the doubt. Done right, that person could even become a real advocate for not just what you do but how you do it.
This is not legal advice
There’ll be leagues of corporate lawyers shaking their heads, saying never say sorry until everyone is sure it’s your fault. Don’t accept the liability.
I don’t have a lawyer. Well, not for this kind of stuff anyway. So, I’m saying sorry, because that’s what I would do, it’s what the people and businesses I admire would do.
I am not saying that you should always say sorry, not if you are in the right. The customer is not always right. A read of the Sticky Walnut Twitter feed would show you that. But when you’re on the wrong side of right, then isn’t it the right route to putting things right?
How about you? When and how would you say sorry?