So, I hurt a friend the other day. This person won’t admit it fully, but I did. It was unintentional. It certainly wasn’t top of mind to make this person feel bad, that is just not how I roll. However, upon reflection, I may have been…OK I was…a touch passive aggressive in making a point.
Leaders, this really is cowardly.
Now, I can say we all do it. Which is true. And to give myself a bit of a break, I think some do it in our professional lives (most specifically) because we can be conditioned to avoid conflict at work. Worse, I think we do it OPENLY in our personal lives because; well…we take loved ones for granted. But that is a conversation we should all have over a bottle of wine.
Anyway – to be a good leader you must be a vulnerable leader. That means being very, very OK with saying you’re sorry when it is warranted.
You want a little help in this area? Here is a vulnerability primer for all of you. These are very intuitive and easy (well, easy is relative) things to say if you want to build trust with your team, coworkers, family, friends, vendors, and/or waitresses.
- I was wrong
- I made a mistake
- I need help
- I am not sure
- I am not very good at
So saying this easy. What makes it hard is their reaction. Be prepared, some folks may not accept your apology. And that will be your karma to deal with. But that is another blogpost.
So, to my friend I may have hurt: I was wrong. I made a mistake. I am sorry.
Remember we always get in more trouble for the things we don’t say rather than the things we do say.
So leaders, have the courage to be vulnerable and say sorry when it is appropriate.