In business it is vital to learn this skill, and learn it early. Learn how to say “I’m Sorry”.
That being said, any business owner should hone this skill, as at some point (most likely many points) they may also have to issue an apology to a teammate, co-worker or employee.
Not only is it imperative to know how to do it, but it’s even more crucial to know how to do it right.
To start - never attack an apology without a strategy! Three things to remember when strategising said apology:
Bring in an HR consultant. A third-party mediator can assist in keeping tempers low and may help with identifying the reason for the misunderstanding. That, in itself, could improve communication in the future.
Apologies are time-sensitive. The minute you sense a mistake has been made, get out in front of it, take responsibility and offer the sincerest of apologies.
Provide an immediate solution, along with a long-term solution (i.e. staff meeting to discuss handling of customer-relationships, account disputes or delegation). Apologies must come with a sense of relief at being heard as well as the assurance that the said incident is unlikely to occur again.
Apologies have the power to make or break your reputation, big or small business.
Handle with care!