All of us realize the importance of maintaining good workplace relationships and don’t say or do things with the intention of offending anyone. What do you do when you put your foot in your mouth and you have offended someone? Do you cry? No. Wouldn’t it be great if you could take back what you have said as soon as you realized it offended someone? Imagine if you had something like the delete button on a computer keyboard which you use to delete words you have said both in your mind and that of the offended person. It would be wonderful but unfortunately the tool does not exist. There is nothing you can do to make your words disappear. You have said it and the best option is to deal with it as soon as you realise there is a problem. Accept your mistake and apologise for it.
The following tips are quite helpful if you find yourself in the awkward situation of offending others through making mistakes. Remember we all succeed through making mistakes as we learn a lot through them.
I am sorry
I am sorry is a magic sentence which mends relationships if said with sincerity. You have to do it as soon as you realize you have offended someone.
Avoid making excuses or defending yourself
There is no excuse whatsoever for you to annoy anyone. Do not create excuses as none will buy them. Do not defend yourself in anyway. Making excuses or defending yourself deepens the injury.
After you have sincerely apologised for your mistake please move on. Do not feel guilty forever as everyone makes mistakes.
Learn from your own mistakes
I normally tell people make as many mistakes as you want. But say sorry after you have made them and never repeat similar mistakes. This process makes you learn a lot from your own mistakes.
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