Depending on the context, these can be some of the hardest words to say.
Whether it’s because emotions are running high, you aren’t sure what you’re sorry for (but you feel it’s what the other party wants to hear), or any number of other conflict resolution scenarios, these words often get used and abused, making their impact dull or unintentional.
In today’s episode, we define and address the do’s and don’ts of conversational repair, and reveal some common case studies showing the use of these tactics in real life situations. Some of the core principles discussed include:
- Using an apology as a starting point – the beginning of a new set of behaviors (11:10)
- Having the right timing (12:25)
- Knowing when or how an apology will actually make things worse (13:40)
- How to not over-apologize (16:35)
These are meant to help you formulate a research – backed game plan when going into these types of high risk conversations, so that you can avoid the unintentional consequences that so often occur.
Because the fact is that apologies are a messy part of life and leadership, and they will always be required at some level.
Listed below are the materials referenced in this week’s episode:
- Article reference (15:20): When Saying Sorry May Not Help
- Art of Coaching Podcast (29:10): E126: Eight Obstacles to Building Buy-In & E207: How Perception Impacts Communication and Relationships
- Art of Coaching Podcast (37:00): E63: Power Dynamics in Leadership & E202: Why Facts and Logic Don’t Change Our Minds
- Questions? Follow this link to ask us! (45:45)
Today’s podcast is brought to you by our awesome sponsors – Dynamic, Momentous and DFND.
Dynamic Fitness & Strength: These guys are our go-to equipment partner. Fully customizable and manufactured in the heartland of America- whether you’re looking to outfit your home gym or entire weight room, visit mydynamicfitness.com to get started. Tell them Brett and the Art of Coaching Team sent you!
Momentous: Whether you’re an elite athlete, weekend warrior or just looking to improve your everyday health / performance, check out their entire line of protein and supplements at livemomentous.com and use code BRETT15 at checkout for 15% off! My personal favorites are their fish oil and magnesium, both of which I attribute to my better sleep and recovery.
DFND: As our official compression partner, DFND is engineered to help anyone who loves to train and compete go harder longer, recover quicker, and get better faster. Their first line of compression wear was tested on special forces trainees under the harshest training conditions in the world, but now they’re worn by athletes at all levels and anyone serious about performance. Use code: AOC20 to get 20% off your order.
Brett Bartholomew 00:06
Support for today’s episode comes from Momentous from grass fed whey protein, fish oil, their elite sleep formula and everything in between Momentous is my absolute go to whenever I’m traveling, training or when I recommend products to my friends who are looking for no-nonsense nutritional supplements. I am a food first kind of person I grew up into the Midwest. And we just never missed a meal.
I have relatives that lived on a farm. And so we always believed in just getting everything fresh, and making sure that we prioritize and having a well balanced diet. That said, almost all of that falls through when I am in periods of my life like this. I’m working on a new book, I’m working on my doctorate. And working on growing a business life is chaotic and hectic. And for many of you, I know it is the same way. We can’t always be perfect, Momentous makes it so you do not have to be make sure that you are taking care of yourself and putting good stuff into your body. It’s that simple.
We live in a world where people try to make nutrition so complex, it does not have to be and you guys can skip the fads master the basics by going with Momentous so visit livemomentous.com. And you will save 15% by using code Brett 15. That’s B R E T T 15 at checkout. Again. That’s livemomentous.com and you save 15% by using code Brett: B R E T T 1 5 at checkout. Check it out. Check it.
Welcome to the Art of coaching Podcast. I’m Brett Bartholomew. And at a young age poor communication nearly cost me my life. Now, I help others navigate the gray area of social interaction, power dynamics and communication so they can become more adaptable leaders regardless of their profession, age or situation. This podcast is for everybody who is fascinated with solving people problems. So if you’re in the no nonsense type who appreciates frank conversations, advice you can put to use immediately and learning how others navigate the messy realities of leadership. You’re in the right place. I’m glad that you’re joining us. Let’s dive in.
Brett Bartholomew 02:29
Hey, thanks for joining me today, we are going to dive into all things, apologies on this episode. Now apologies are a messy part of life and leadership that all of us know are never really fun. But they’re always going to be required at some level, we’re going to dive into the do’s, the don’ts, core principles, case studies and everything in between. Because when we find ourselves in these conflict resolution scenarios, or where we have to engage in what we’ll talk about in the episode as conversational repair, a lot of times our emotions are already engaged. And so it can be hard if we don’t have something to guide us or go back to from an education standpoint, or foundation standpoint, we’re just going to keep putting our foot in our mouth again and again and again or making things worse.
And the idea for this came because we see a lot of these play out at our Apprenticeship leadership development workshops. I think other than negotiation-based situations and power dynamic situations, it is the number one thing that we see. Now if you’re not familiar, and that’s all foreign language you put simply our Apprenticeship workshops are highly interactive, live events that are focused on helping professionals of all types learn the skills and strategies necessary to be more effective at building buy-in, navigating power dynamics, resolving conflicts like we’re going to talk about today, becoming more persuasive, etc.
They are not rah-rah motivational seminars or feel good seminars, we don’t just sit around and say, Hey, let’s talk about communication, where it’s just about looking people in the eye and shaking their hand. We believe in providing you with tactics, not trust falls. And we also believe that communication, which is a core part of leadership, is a power skill, not so much a soft skill. Simply put, if it goes bad, no amount of credentials or technical expertise is ever going to be able to overcome the damage done to your personal reputation, or that to your organization.
Brett Bartholomew 04:20
So we do a lot of situational role playing at these events, video breakdowns, evaluations, lectures, that’s why we don’t offer them online. Because you can’t really do role playing and video breakdowns and get the kind of peer feedback, you really want through an online formula. We have tons of online offerings, but these are always going to be done in person and we typically limit them to about 10 a year just because like you guys, I’m you know I have a family. I have coaching stuff that I have to do at home. We have other. So it’s kind of like we’re a traveling band, we look at different parts of the world, different parts of the country. And we knock these out.
So if you are somebody that understands how fundamental communication is how fundamental understanding power dynamics and how to navigate them are, understand how fundamental just learning how to be put in really tough situations and work yourself out of them. And getting feedback is, make sure you go to artofcoaching.com/apprenticeship. We don’t care what age you are, where you’re at, in your career, what career you’re in, we’ve had more than 20 different professions represented. We’ve taught this type of material in 30 different countries, we would love to have you so just know everything we’re going to go over today is bolstered by this stuff that we teach at these workshops. So I’d love to have you once again, artofcoaching.com/apprenticeship.
All right, all that aside, mistakes are a reality of life. And so are misunderstandings. And we know that if they’re not addressed, they’re going to become milestones of broken relationships that are really typecasted by fractured trust, and trust is, and we’ve said this a lot on the show is gained and drops and lost in buckets. Now, these mistakes and misunderstandings that we’re going to have throughout our life and our career take place in personal contexts, such as with a friend, maybe getting a disagreement with a buddy, a family member, a love interest, or romantic partner, or even just a new acquaintance. They also take part or place in a business context. Now that could entail a customer client relationship, whatever you want to call who you work with somebody that we’re coaching, within another business owner, maybe you had a partner, or you did something with another business, and there’s a collaboration that went wrong, or even just an associate or an employee, right, so a wide range of terms there.
Brett Bartholomew 06:46
But the point is, is misunderstandings are in our personal lives and professional lives. Done. Now, I also want to state if you’re a student, or in another phase of your life, it can also include somebody that’s a teacher or mentor to you or superior, but I still consider that a business or professional based context. And I just wanted to lock that in. So we’re speaking on the same terms, okay. Excuse me.
Now, if we look at the definition of apology, and there’s many different definitions, but I love this one, by Donald Segala, who authored an article called a study of doctors and patients communication during a primary care consultation. And it the whole thing talked about implications for communication training in the medical world. And they really said that, you know, apologies can be considered utterances, designs that are designed to express remorse about something, but doesn’t always have to be remorse as it right we are apologies can be polite. Like if you sneeze, you might say excuse me, I’m sorry. It doesn’t always have to be intensive remorse.
And so despite how complete that definition is, and Dr. Segala’s context, I wanted to just break it out a bit more. And I think of another way to look at apologies is it is a form of conversational repair, especially conversational repair that’s intended to mend a relationship or a situational occurrence that maybe made a situation feel a little bit more uncomfortable, or maybe created a misunderstanding. Now, according to a 2002 article written by BOL, other forms of conversation repair can include corrections, such as, Hey, guys, sorry, I misquote, I misstated something there. And I want to go back and fix it, or disclaimers. And we’ve done that on this podcast before. Hey, heads up, this is going to feature adult content. So if you have kids in the car blank, right. And those are all typically brought into play when participants unwittingly break a conversational or societal rule or convention, or they just want to decrease running the risk of causing confusion or losing face.
Brett Bartholomew 08:14
Now, these things aren’t always able to be controlled. We’ve had plenty of episodes where there’s adult content, and we say that and we get an angry email from somebody who says, Why did you use that? And we said, hey, early on in the episode, we did say heads up, there’s adult content. Well, I fast forward through that. All right, well, we can’t do anything about that. So these things aren’t always in our control. But before we get into the further nuances of how to craft the perfect apology, when a situation arises, that one is needed.
Let’s talk about some very clear don’ts or things not to do if you want to mend a situation. And the reason I like starting with this, it’s very much the same idea of if you and five friends want to get some food, it’s an awful idea to say, hey, where do you guys want to go to eat? That just never goes anywhere? It’s a lot easier to start it off by saying what do you not want to eat? And we’ve mentioned this on the podcast before at least somebody can be like, I don’t want Italian or I don’t want vegan food or I don’t want steak, whatever that is, like just establish some things first before you start worrying about other nuances, so these are to be looked at as guiding principles to really help you set a foundation.
And I don’t want you to skip past that, because it’ll make the rest of the episode, not worthless, but you’re just going to miss a great deal. So Lock and load. If you’re taking notes, make sure to get pen and paper out. If you’re driving or walking the dog. That’s fine, too. But come back to this because we’re going to lay out clear don’ts. The first thing I want you to understand is don’t follow an apology with inaction or think that saying I’m sorry, fixes an issue.
I’ve been in a relationship where this happened, there were a lot of arguments. Man every time the other individual just say I’m sorry, but the behavior wouldn’t change. So I’m sorry, just didn’t mean anything anymore. And it’s funny because we love to say in society or like, just apologize, like the apology itself makes it right. It doesn’t. If your apology is sincere, then you know that saying I’m sorry, by itself does not signify the end of any disagreement, behavior, loss of faith or hurt feelings.
Brett Bartholomew 11:12
A real apology, a well done apology that’s well done, is supposed to be a starting point, or the beginning of a completely new set of behaviors, that leads to an actual change. Now, I’m gonna repeat that because I want you to write it down, or I want it to be etched in your memory. If your apology is sincere, you know that saying I’m sorry, by itself doesn’t signify the end of any disagreement, hurt feelings, behavior, anything like that it is supposed to be a starting point, or the beginning of a new set of behaviors, that leads to actual change.
So if you don’t act on your apology, and do so in a tangible, really meaningful and noticeable way, all sorry, does all saying I’m sorry does is lessen the impact of future apologies. Similar to how somebody who incessantly cries, Wolf, eventually gets ignored and finds their pleas falling on deaf ears. So I’m going to tell you the opposite of what a lot of books tell you. Just saying I’m sorry, does not fix the situation. And it doesn’t matter if you do with puppy dog eyes and the right tone of voice or anything like that. That’s number one.
Okay, number two, and these aren’t necessarily in a hierarchy. Don’t rush right in. Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard this. But there’s a reason for this thing. Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread. That is not just some axiom, or an Elvis song, which it really is an Elvis song, there’s good reason for it. Emotions are complex. And timing is everything. You need to understand that you might want to apologize, you might be sincere, you might be ready to alter your behavior. But if the wound is still fresh, especially in a personal context, you’ve got to give it a moment.
Brett Bartholomew 12:59
Now, this is different in a business sense. And we’ll give a very specific case study below. In a business sense, if there’s something your organization or your company or somebody on your staff did wrong, you want to make that right right away, and you want to get to the core of it. But if this is a personal relationship, trying to rush right in, you’re making the mistake of thinking that they’re even gonna hear your apology, they might be so locked into their emotions, they might not even hear it. And if you text it, that’s fine.
But that’s an artifact too, and they’re going to just delete your text or ignore it, you’ve got to let things cool down. There doesn’t need to be a whole lot of explaining on that one, there’s a lot more complex stuff we’re gonna get into. Number three, do not apologize if it’s going to make a situation worse.
There’s a great study published by Friedman and colleagues in the journal frontiers of psychology, which by the way, is the most cited journal in its field. And it explores psychological sciences clinical research to cognitive science, from imaging studies to human factors. And it found that saying, I’m sorry, when intentionally rejecting someone, okay, so for example, canceling plans, hey, sorry, we’re not going to be able to make it to dinner tonight or breaking up with somebody, Hey, I’m sorry. But this just isn’t working for me. And I think we need to call it quits or breakup, right?
That causes the other person typically, to feel worse, or that they actually have to forgive the rejecter before they’re ready. Now, this is contextual. If I reach out to my friend Ashley and her husband, Danny, and I say, hey, sorry, my son’s our son’s sick tonight. We don’t think it’s a great idea to leave him with the babysitter, we’re not going to be able to make dinner, is there a time we can make it up? There’s a relationship there that’s already established. And if we don’t do that often, then this isn’t gonna apply to them.
This is a situation where if you’re canceling plans, and you don’t provide external context, and you know, or that you’re leaning on this thing too much, or that you do it again, with the wrong timing, there are issues there. Right but just saying I’m sorry. And rejecting somebody without context and without skill is going to make things worse. And it’s also going to make things worse. If you just think that well, and I’m gonna get ahead of myself. So I’m going to continue to go on this article, if you’re interested in it. And we’ll link it in the show notes goes on to explain that this is also centered around varying contexts related to social rejection, because that’s what that is saying, I’m sorry. And then rejecting somebody, that’s the fancy term, they give it as social rejection.
And so they said, Hey, this occurs when in a wide range of domains from romantic interactions. So turning down to a date, I’m sorry, that doesn’t work for me, or I can’t do it on that date, to interactions with a friend, such as telling a friend that you don’t want him or her to join your lunch group, and even interactions with a stranger saying, Hey, I don’t really want to work on this project together. No, I don’t want to go into this business together. You’ve got to lock that in with context. And you can’t just think it’s going to, that’s what’s going to help. Also, if somebody’s just mad, and they say you always say sorry, I’m tired of hearing, sorry. And you just keep apologizing. And believe it or not, this happens, oh, my God, I’m sorry.
Brett Bartholomew 16:10
That’s going to make it worse. Now, these things seemed like dumb moments. But think about this. Think about situations where people have done that, or when you’ve tried apologizing, and it made something worse, because of it being the wrong time. Because it being not as filled with context as it should have been with you not going in depth or that relationship not really being developed. That’s a big piece there. Another one that is a bit more easy to digest is just don’t over apologize. This can take place in the form of frequency of apologies, or even in terms of the magnitude and grandiosity of the apologetic action.
Let me give you an example. An example with respect to frequency is if you or somebody else repeatedly says sorry, even if somebody’s already accepted your apology, or you think that pouring on more apologies is going to make things better, it will not. Sometimes, like we mentioned earlier, it takes time for emotions to settle, consistent action and distance, not to mention the fact that it makes you look guilty and makes you look aloof. If you just keep over apologizing. And yeah, I’ll even say it, it makes you look weak. It makes you look weak, you need to just own it, it’s better to have one strong apology with consistent action.
Brett Bartholomew 17:39
Hey, quick break in the episode, I really hope you’re enjoying it. I know there’s a lot here to digest. We take a lot of pride in being able to provide you with free content every week. That said, like many of you, please remember that all of us at Art of coaching, do have full time jobs, we have family responsibilities, countless things that fall under the category of life-related chaos that we have to deal with. And I know some of you may not care to hear that.
But all we ask is that if you’d be so kind, to show your support for this show, and our work by either leaving a review on your podcast platform of choice, sharing it with friends, or heading over to artofcoaching.com/events to check out our live workshops, we would be really, really grateful without your guys’s word of mouth support reviews, or even financial support for sponsors, or the 1000s of you that have come to our workshops. We can’t do things like this, each episode, sometimes it will, depending on the episode, they take anywhere from 90 to 240 minutes to put together. And that’s just on my end that doesn’t mention our colleagues, Ali and Becca, and Lance and everybody that puts their heart and soul into these things. None of us enjoy asking for help.
All I’m saying is I hope over the years we’ve gained your trust enough that it’s a no brainer. And it’s something that you want to do as part of being a member of the Art of coaching family. So we appreciate you, we look forward to bringing you hundreds more episodes, newsletters and high impact live workshops that come, right back to the episode
Brett Bartholomew 19:12
if you just keep over apologizing, and yeah, I’ll even say it it makes you look weak. It makes you look weak. You need to just own it. It’s better to have one strong apology with consistent action, and lock that in and give it time and be great like be tremendous with your clarity than to just keep thinking you need to do it. Now an example of magnitude related over apologizing could look like when somebody goes to grandiose lengths, meaning you shower somebody with gifts, or any other kind of act of service, or even as some movies show theatrical displays like showing up and singing outside someone’s window, making art or even pulling out a Vincent van Gogh.
There’s a time where it’s just too much a and you need to know your audience which is going to be a core part of that later on, I remember I worked with somebody at one point in time, and we had gotten in a very heated disagreement. And it was just inappropriate timing. And this was, this would have been years ago. And this was over five years ago. And it was in front of, you know, a customer, where we were just kind of getting into it a little bit. And I couldn’t, I couldn’t get them to just take a beat, I was trying to get them into a different environment, they didn’t want to, they had gotten physical with me.
And I just remember thinking, Okay, what do we need to do here? At some point, I just need to stop this interaction, and say, Hey, I’m sorry, you feel this way. And I’m sorry, for my part in it, it seems like it’s not going to be solved right now. I’m gonna put pause on this. And we’ll talk about it another time. And you just got to walk away, right? Like, you can’t control a lot of these things. So you just got to know when to stop it for the moment, move on. I also recall a time where in a situation, there was almost nothing I could do to make this right with this individual. It seemed like that at least.
And then when they left work, I had written them an email, something we’ll talk about later as another tactic. And the email got a favorable response two days later, cooled off, good to go. So there is some indirect aspects to this, where again, you have to remember in the moment, it’s not always about the magnitude of an apology or the frequency, it is the moment.
Brett Bartholomew 21:28
Another core principle, do not try to incessantly blame the other person or feign accountability. Every single communicative act and a social interaction takes place between one or more individuals. But the moment you adopt too many forms of external locus of control, meaning you’re blaming something else, the weather the this, that whatever, you’re distancing yourself from the attempt at repairing the relationship. N
ow, there’s something very recent, I’ll tell you what the the situations like this increase, the minute I became a business owner, we had spoken to a contractor a while back. And we had said, Hey, we’re looking for somebody to do this kind of work, let’s say was translating one of our online courses, alright. And it’s not too far from the truth. But we said, hey, we’re gonna, we need help translating something. Now, we had reached out to this person, they said, Cool, I’d love to do it. We never really heard back from them in terms of a formal contract, we did not provide a normal contract.
We said, Just keep us posted. You know, like, we this is what we’re willing to pay if it gets to this point. And, you know, this is specifically what we’re looking for. But like we, you’re saying that you want to get started on this, and you’re not worried about pay? Okay, we agree to that. But we want to know what we can do to make this right or to make this situation amenable for you. All right, another core principle.
Now, just to review, so far, we’ve talked about a few things, making sure that you understand that saying, I’m sorry, alone does not fix the issue. We’ve talked about not rushing right and understanding the power of timing. We talked about not apologizing if it’s going to make a situation worse, and some research that spoke about that. And we also have talked about not over apologizing and how that can take place in the form of frequency, or magnitude. So let’s get to the next one. Don’t try to incessantly blame the other person and feign accountability.
Brett Bartholomew 23:22
Remember, every communicative act in a social interaction takes place between one or more individuals. But the moment you adopt too many forms of external locus of control, which if you’re not familiar with that means that just means you’re always blaming something external, like the weather, or the other individual or your parents or blank, whatever, you’re not taking accountability. All you do is distance yourself from the attempt at repairing the relationship and you don’t look professional or sincere.
And I can think about this, there’s a very specific situation with a contractor we worked with once. Now this contractor had reached out and said they appreciated our work, and they wanted to do some translation. Great. You want to do some translation? Do some translation. What what are you looking to get out of this? They’re saying, Don’t worry about the money. I just want to do this. Do I? Do I have your permission? Yep, absolutely. Shoot it to us. When you’re done. We’d be happy to take a look. And we’re appreciative. All of a sudden, several months go by. And we’ve had staff changeover we’ve had administrative assistant that laughed. We had our website get hacked due to an email issue. We’ll talk about this later.
And this person comes back and writes a scathing message to me on social media, saying your team didn’t reach out to me. I sent them this and this and this. I’ve done all this work. And I hear that you’re working with a different translator on this and that and I I pump the brakes and I think timeout. I’m sorry, I don’t understand what’s going on here. Can you let me know? And so I dug into it. And what I found is there was somebody that reached out to us an organization that wanted to translate some work of ours in another language, they engage in a formal business relationship. They said, Hey, we can do this with this kind of distribution. This is what we’d be looking for. And we’d like to enter into a formal contract with you.
And so we looked at their proposal, we entered into that agreement, we said, Yep, this is what we’re willing to pay for it blank. Okay, so little did I know that this other individual was now looking to get paid? And he said, I hear you’re paying them and you didn’t pay me? And I think, Wait a minute. I, you know, I apologize. I’m not sure if all the interaction then it sounds like there are some emails missing here.
Brett Bartholomew 25:40
Now, heads up, we did recently have a website, hack, some of our email, emails got lost, we also had some staff on the administrative side transition. But do you have an email that you could send me of a contract where we agreed on these things where we agreed to pay because what I’ve been told is you you had said nothing about payment, you are not looking at doing it in this scope, you did not own a company that can handle this distribution, I just see an email that says you wanted to do this, because you appreciated the work. And that, you know, this was something that was a hobby of years blank, blank, blank. And he just continues to go and go and go.
And I start realizing, okay, let me take a different approach here, in your, in your opinion, what went wrong, and it was you, your team, you, you, you, you, you you nothing about their side. Now, mind you, we hadn’t heard from this individual in over six months. Now, let’s say they sent all these emails to us great. Well, they also had my social media account information, we have a company social media account, you know, based on our posts, who works in our company.
Brett Bartholomew 26:47
So in my situation, I think, Alright, if I reach out to an organization via email, and they didn’t respond, and they normally did, I’m going to reach out to the owner of that organization or somebody else on social media, or I might reach out to their official business account. And I’m just going to try to be as respectful and consistent as I can in those communications and assume the best. But you have to remember, not everybody does that.
So it led to this whole, I basically had to spend an entire day, going back through emails, going through our team. And even when I tried taking accountability for it, and saying, hey, we’ll make this right. I’m sorry. But understand this, we didn’t hear from you in any other thing. There was no formal agreement. Technically, we don’t really and I wanted to say this, but I couldn’t say this part, we don’t really owe you anything. We didn’t engage in this kind of agreement, you said you want to do this on a volunteer basis. And it just kept coming back with you, you, you you. And what this individual sadly didn’t know is to make this right.
Not only was I willing to pay them, but I would have given them full rights to work on a massive project that we’ve been working on for a long time, international rights at that, but because of how they handled that situation, and they couldn’t meet us halfway, we’re there’s no chance not only would we not give them business, but I would never do what I was planning to do, which was refer him to other people that we know that would have loved his business. And that’s the problem, guys, you have to understand that just miscommunications happen.
And the more you just blame everybody else and you don’t even accept the modicum of responsibility, or you’re not even willing to hear the other party out. You are spoiling a long term relationship that could have led to so many other things. I as a business owner will always take accountability for what we can. But I also know that it’s a two way street, and the people that you want to do business with and have relationships with long term, think long term. They’re not worried about blame today, they think long term.
Brett Bartholomew 28:47
Okay, moving on. Don’t neglect your tone of voice. Remember, meanings are not just in words, they’re in people out what this means is no matter how well our message is crafted, we still have to understand that its perceived meaning is going to differ in the eyes of others. Some of this is out of the scope of this episode, because we’ve already covered it massively in depth in another episode, in massive depth rather.
So review episode 207. That’s episode 207, which is all about the nuances of perception, and 126. That’s episode 126. And both will be in the show notes for more on perception and other factors that dramatically influence it.
And it’s worth your time. Because once again, if you don’t understand those principles, you are more likely to make mistakes that are very costly. Just like if you don’t understand principles regarding health and medications you’re taking, your interactions between them, you are in for it. So make sure you listen to them.
Brett Bartholomew 29:45
Now to review and we like to give credit to research whenever we can. Albert Mehrabian gets that credit for reminding us that with respect to how much our how our messages are received rather, only 7% comes down to words And as much as 38% comes down to our voice, and the tone, that’s what’s called para verbal, with the remainder coming from our kinesics, such as the look we have on our face, and other forms of nonverbals, classic nonverbals. Think about it for a moment, too.
If I say, I’m so sorry. And that’s genuine and it looks genuine. That sounds far different than I’m so sorry. Or I’m so sorry. Okay, all those things are dramatically different. And they mean completely different things on their own. That, once again, seems obvious enough. But most people would be surprised to know if they reviewed their interactions on video, or you listen to yourself on a recording these interactions were recorded, how often you actually sound different than you thought.
Brett Bartholomew 30:52
And I know this, because we do this all the time at the Apprenticeship workshop. So there are people that they rewatch and interaction, they roleplay it out, and they’re like, Oh, my God, I had no idea I looked like that. I had no idea I sounded like that I come off as so passive aggressive, I come off as so inauthentic, I totally, that’s not what I feel inside. But when you see yourself and you have the ability to get that feedback, it’s completely different. And it’s those blind spots that create the issues.
The next piece, don’t apologize for everything. Don’t apologize for everything. If you don’t, you don’t need to. And that goes into not over apologizing. But one of those things over apologizing had to do with frequency and magnitude apologizing for everything is more about discernment in you, if you can’t control a situation, or it was trivial and an honest mistake, there’s no need to apologize. But if you really were at fault, of course, you need to own up to that. And I’m thinking of like truly trivial.
Like sometimes I’ll find myself do this, my backpack might be I’ll be at an airport. And this happened the other day. And there’s tons of space around me. tons of space around me, I’m waiting to board tons of space around me, nobody’s even in line yet. I’m just standing up because I’ve been sitting down for too long. And this person on their phone starts just going right towards my back.
Now mind you, there is no fewer than 15 meters of open space on either side of me. But they’re not paying attention. So they literally I’m thinking there’s no way they’re going to run into my bag. They literally run into my bag. And I look at them. And for some reason, just an automatic response.
Brett Bartholomew 32:30
I go, I’m sorry. And I thought about that. Like, why should I have to say I’m sorry, no part of that. So the midwesterner in me. But it was like this person didn’t say I’m sorry. And they just went around. And they huffed at me. And that’s really hard for me to temper the more aggressive part of myself, which comes out when people just lack basic manners. But you don’t have to apologize for everything. It’s almost more it for me, it’s definitely on airplanes. If my elbow touches somebody, I’m sorry, I’m so worried that Oh, god, did that person think I was doing this and doing that. And there is times where you can just be too nice.
You don’t need to apologize for everything. And I want to be more clear with another example illustrated by John Hall of CNBC. And John says saying I’m sorry, especially when you’re not at fault is absolutely an automatic reaction because people want to obviously feel liked, they want to be liked, rather, and any chances you probably said it like a million times this week, you actually didn’t need to. So he looked at a 2015 poll from research firm YouGov. And notice that there when we look cross culturally, there are approximately 15, British sorrys for every 10 American ones, for situations like if they sneezed, if they stood in somebody’s way, or they corrected somebody who’s wrong, hey, I’m sorry, it’s not there T H E R E, it’s their T H E I R.
And this survey polled 1600 British people and 1000 Americans that showed a few similarities 73% of British people would apologize for interrupting someone compared to only 71%. Now that’s a huge difference. And when doing a favor for somebody, but getting it wrong. 60% of British people said they’d apologize, compared to 58% of Americans.
Now that’s up to you, right manners are displayed in a wide variety of ways. But I’m more speaking to the person who knows you incessantly downplay your own power, you incessantly give away power, and to the point where almost like it hurts your confidence because you feel like everything’s your fault, and you’re getting in your own way constantly. So just a few things to chew on. And a lot of complementarity within those a lot of those are related. Okay, now that we have some of the don’ts out of the way, and as a reminder, they’re not exhaustive. They’re meant to just give you some meat and based principles to chew on.
Brett Bartholomew 33:06
Think of a boss that I had one time, and vary just by the book, I mean, to to a fault almost by the book by the book. And I caught myself over apologizing a lot, because there was always something you were critiqued for. And I was very young, in, in, in my career at this point in time, and so I just felt like, every five seconds, there was something that I just realized that there is a standard that was almost impossible to live up to. He was that teacher that you could do all of your work, ace it, get extra credit. And he’s still never going to give you an A. And that’s supposed to teach you some life lesson, you know, and then I just eventually realized I had to interact very differently with that individual.
Because by putting myself in that situation all the time and saying I’m sorry, I just played into that. So I could say, I’m sorry. And I just started saying, You’re right, I’ll do my best to do X, Y, and Zed with more detail, or you’re right, thanks for that feedback. It was almost like he wanted an apology. When in reality, now it’s like, Hey, I’m not going to give you that what I’m going to do is acknowledge that I can always be better. But I’m not going to play into this. And by and large, some of that behavior on his end stopped. So people have all these weird quirks. There’s other times where somebody just wants you to hear, I’m sorry, they don’t even care if you change your action, they just need that. And so you know, there’s a little gray area to these things as well.
Brett Bartholomew 34:53
Let’s get to things you need to better understand to give your apology gravitas. And for some of you that’s offer the idea for apologizing for anything, because they are they’re just like there’s people that over apologize, just people that never feel like they have to apologize, believe me.
I think as I said earlier, now that I own my own business, we see this all the time from a customer standpoint. I mean, the customer’s always right is a very hard thing to kind of swallow if you’re a business owner, because there are many times where they’re not there are many times you receive angry emails, we receive scathing emails from people who claim that we took away access to something, when in reality, we find that they went to the wrong website, you know, or that they then apologized later on saying, hey, it was my fault. I was using the wrong login. But they don’t even give you the benefit of the doubt. But for some of you that scoff at the idea of apologizing, all I’d say to you is, if your pride is getting in the way, you can simply think of a well crafted apology backed up with meaningful action, of course, as a way for you to get the last word.
Now I’m saying that tongue in cheek, because you shouldn’t have to think Oh, I get the last word. So that’s the only reason I’m gonna apologize. But I mean, this is this is a quote attributed Well, it’s an unknown attribution. And I just couldn’t help but laugh at it. Because it is true, like some people only apologize just because they think it gives them the power, and that shouldn’t be a concern of yours.
Brett Bartholomew 34:59
So let’s put ourselves in a scenario to make this highly tactical. Let’s say you’ve encountered an issue. And you’re now thinking through how you’re going to address your side of it. Take note of the following. One, of course, you need to know your audience, meaning always know who you’re speaking to, and what the nature of the power dynamic in the relationship is, as well as the influence tactics they respond to. And I’ll give you an example in a moment.
These kinds of situations are the most commonly played out as our at our Apprenticeships, because people feel like I just don’t know how to react to Diana or Craig always seems to do this, or I found myself in a situation where I was apologizing even when I was asking for a raise. And if you want a review of some of the categories of power dynamics, go to Episode 63. Same with influence tactics, go to Episode 202. But we know that there needs to be a difference in the apology that we send to a boss who’s highly analytical, and seems somewhat detached with respect to your relationship, versus a friend who’s more emotional or empathetic in nature that you’ve known for 10 years. Yeah, I
Brett Bartholomew 38:41
Now, also consider what the situation is. I gave you an example earlier of there was a person I was interacting with at work, and they were getting very heated about something. And in that situation, it was in front of clients and colleagues and things like that. And I had to change the environment to calm that down. That’s a contextual aspect of how we communicate. I had to also lean on timing, these things weren’t going to get solved in that moment.
So once again, think about the situation holistically. And you know, one thing I do also want to mention is, it said you’re not supposed to ruin an apology with an excuse. But if you subscribe to our newsletter, you remember a piece that I wrote on excuses versus reasons. And if you weren’t on it, I’ll paraphrase a short portion of it. Something you do need to consider, despite what just about every leadership book out there tells you is some excuses are valid. Sometimes people do get an unexpected flat tire. Sometimes people do come down with the flu. Sometimes the electricity goes out when you’re on a zoom call. And sometimes we actually didn’t know our phone was still on silent. When we missed that call happened to me the other night.
Somebody’s I was selling something on Facebook marketplace. Somebody said they’d be up at my house and an hour took them to Two hours, my phone automatically went on to Do Not Disturb mode. I looked down after a while. And all of a sudden, I saw I had four missed calls, had a bunch of angry texts from the individual. I called them up. And I said, Hey, my apologies, I had a timer set for this time, if you weren’t here, so I didn’t know if you were coming. And by the way, my phone just automatically went to do not disturb. Now, in this case, me just giving them valid excuses, like led to him saying, no problem. My bad,
Brett Bartholomew 40:30
I get it, I should have been on time. So you might look at that as me not taking accountability. But the reality is, I just gave him the truth. Now, like we said earlier, that’s not always going to work. But we’re giving you some options here, you need to know your audience. Chances are if you’re listening to this episode, you’ve made a mistake in the past, and you can think of a case study where you apply this to.
And so you know, nobody’s going to be able to give you the one answer to apologize perfectly to everybody. What we can do is give you principles and examples so that you can go back and take a look at that situation and think, Okay, here’s why it did or didn’t work. Right, here’s why it did or didn’t work. So to even go further into that if we get literal about definitions of the term excuse, which originated in the 13th century, as a noun, it means a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense. And then if we look at the term reason, which originated in the 12th century, as a noun, it means a cause or explanation.
And remember, the definition for excuse was a reason or explanation. So we’re already muddying the lines, or a justification for an action or event. So as I said, then, we look at those two terms. And it’s not always so simple of what’s an excuse, and what’s an actual, verifiable, valid reason. The fact is that, despite the nearly identical similarities of their operational definition, some just don’t like the term excuse, and they attach it to the lazy or entitled or things that they don’t like. As we also said, when it comes to communication, meanings are not in words, they’re in people. So some reasons are completely justifiable.
Some brief review, know your audience. That’s rule number one in anything that you do. And you need to understand how, alright, what’s the nature of this relationship? And then second, what’s the nature of this situation? How does this impact how I should format this where I should do it? But then also understanding like the the nature of this of this situation? Is this an excuse? Is this a reason? Does it matter right now? No, you just need to fact find and get these things locked in. If one of my colleagues says, Hey, I apologize for being late on this deadline, I had to catch a red eye. I got home late. And our power was out because of a snowstorm. I can get as mad as I want.
That’s not going to change the verifiable reasons that those happen if there’s In fact, the truth. I have to accept that. I shouldn’t need a ton more apologizing at this point. Now it’s just a matter of okay, let’s make it right. Let’s move forward. Right, let’s make it right. Let’s move forward.
Brett Bartholomew 43:12
So going back to thinking a case study, thinking of another case study, and I talked about an angry individual, a while back that we had worked with, we go into the reasons I went into, hey, the website got hacked, I went into we tried reaching out, it looks like the emails didn’t come through, we didn’t see a formal contract. We didn’t understand that this was what you were trying to do that wasn’t spelled out in any clear wording.
As a matter of fact, it said that you want to do this just out of support, and you liked the material, right? They weren’t going to have it. And so I didn’t know when to walk away. We had offered a sincere tailored apology I had offered how to make it right in several different ways. And this is why I brought professional poker player and consultant Annie Duke on to the podcast. And her episode, if you’re listening to at the moment, this is this one is released will come out on October 2022. If you’re listening to this and that dates already passed, make sure to check that one out. You’ll love it.
Because it’s all about the science of knowing when to quit and move forward. And that of course holds true to personal and romantic relationships. Sometimes the best influence tactic is to just come back to it later or to give ground to gain ground, lose the battle win the war. And not that you ever want to necessarily look at this stuff as winning or losing. These are simply turns of phrase. context matters. Okay.
Brett Bartholomew 44:35
So aside from audience and situation, be specific for what you are sorry for specificity shows you understand and shows them that you’re really invested in it. So let’s say my wife wanted, like the other day she was taking a day off we had worked through several weekends she needed a day. No problem. A while I had gotten an idea in my brain about something, and I rushed down to tell her out of excitement. And it spiraled into work talk, and I could see I accidentally stressed her out.
Now, this is a unique change of roles. Usually she does this to me. But I could see the frustration. So I said, Hey, I’m sorry. I brought up work-related issues while you were trying to relax. I know your time reading is super valuable to you. And I rushed in and hijacked a piece. I’m sorry. And I just left it there. She just wanted to know that I understood what she was angry about. And I did. I you know, and the fact is, I just I was very excited. And I, I went down there no different than sometimes I’m in the middle of working on my new book, she comes in and tells me about, you know, some issue. Now my brain is hijacked.
So we’ve tried to get better at a couple as a couple with this. And for what it’s worth, I’d love for you guys to email us and let us know situations where that’s happened to you. And either, you know, just you knowing your audience really well, whether that’s understanding our material around drives and influence tactics, and all that helped you get out of it, or conversely, where you had some blind spots, and you’re like, Oh, my God, I didn’t even see this, Hey, Brett, what would you do in this situation, you can always, always, always send those things to us. We love. We love getting those emails.
And we’ll also help you break down situations as well, if you just go to artofcoaching.com/question, that helps make a lot of these things even more impactful. Go to artofcoaching.com/question. And you can send us case studies and we’ll help you break them down. Alright, so we understand that it needs to be specific, you also need to understand what medium that should take place. And the medium is always going to be the message and Episode 208, if you want to review goes deep with respect to the science behind those choices, and the massive impact they make on the nature of an apology.
Brett Bartholomew 46:48
But ultimately, it comes down to two things, if you know who you owe an apology to. And you’re very specific about this situation. Now you need to think about these two things. Whether you email them, whether you call them whether you FaceTime them, whether you do it in person, you have to consider the magnitude of social presence afforded. All that jargon means, according to Stephens long and McClintock and a 2008 article is the degree to which the medium email, text, phone, face to face is experienced as sociable, warm, sensitive or personal, it has to make the other person understand that you are very real, and you showed up in a very real way. And that there is tremendous, just warmth to it. It also is going to come down to media richness, which is a similar concept.
But this is all about how different forms of mediums vary in relation to the amount of information that can get across. So for example, sending somebody a text ranks lower, both on social presence and media richness, than a phone call would, because in a phone call, they can hear your voice, they can hear the change in tone, so on and so forth. A phone call, however, will rank lower on both compared to a true face to face.
There’s a big reason I do the podcast instead of blogging. Because you guys can hear my voice we can get across so much more complex information, so much more information and in a more personal way. If I talk it out to you, then if I were to write it in a massive blog piece that just can’t happen. It’s also why I don’t teach this stuff we teach in our workshops on this podcast, or in my or my online courses on social media, Instagram and Twitter would be a horrible place to try to teach people at least at the depth that we do it about power dynamics, conversational nuances, negotiation, like we’re not interested in, it just would dumbed down our material too much. Like that’s not our interest.
Now for some people that works great. You have to find what works for you and your business for us by social media is always going to remain my personal one at least, like a shoebox, of of who I am as an individual and different aspects of my life, you are always going to have to get more immersive content in in the things that allow for that to be expressed. And for that, that’s live events, courses, so on and so forth.
Brett Bartholomew 49:16
Another piece, and I know that seems like a lot it’s really not if we think about it and we go back there’s there’s main pieces here that you just you’ve got to understand is who carries that message, who’s the messenger themselves. If a mistake happens in my business, I can’t always be the one responding to it. For one I travel a great deal. Two I’m working on a new book and I’m just I’m not the one that monitors the company email account. Just as it can always be you.
You’re gonna have to delegate and that’s why you need to teach your staff these principles and hopefully you can just have a listen to some of these episodes, and they’ll get on but you know, that’s a tricky one because sometimes then it needs to be you because there are individuals that want to speak to the one in charge. Now, you shouldn’t always be the one in charge. That’s why you should have managers, directors, people under you that own certain departments and responsibilities. But you know, there are periods where if somebody wants to speak to the owner, you just got to think about all right.
How do I balance that though? Brett, it’s, it’s how you look at it from a boundaries perspective. If everybody emailed us and said, I demand a response from Brett, the reality is, that’s just not gonna happen. And not everybody actually needs that response. There’s been a lot of people that have done that in the past. And really, what they wanted is they then pitched me a product. So they acted angry, they would send the team, the info@artofcoaching account, an email, did angry, like they needed to speak to me only to try to get my information. And then they tried to pitch me something. And people do this all the time anyway, people guess at my email. And even if they get it, right, they think that they’re going to get a reply to me by just cold emailing me, and not establishing a prior relationship or anything like that, it’s not going to happen, it’s not going to happen.
So you do have to take this case by case. For those of you that have been to an Apprenticeship, this is a great time to use, like coalition tactics. When I work with certain athletes in the past, right, there are some that they’re not going to listen to coach, but they listened to the five other people that won Super Bowls. And all of a sudden, they listen to what they had to say.
Brett Bartholomew 51:19
I think I mentioned it before, we’ve had a client that worked in a military base here, that they couldn’t get stuff across to their boss, but they had somebody else that had the ear of their boss. And by establishing that relationship with them, they were able to influence them and get that budget increase that they wanted. So there’s so many different ways that you have to understand not even just your audience, the situation, the specificity and the medium. But who delivers that message is a huge piece, too.
I would say the last thing I want you guys to consider, before we summarize is what type of apology is well, of course, you know, there’s certain apologies that are expressed through words, but they’re also action. So an apology can also be take place in a financial way, hey, here’s your money back. Or, Hey, I apologize for the misunderstanding. We didn’t have a contract. But I’ll tell you what, out of good faith, I’m happy to pay you blank. And I hope this settles the issue. It could be access to information or a product, let’s say somebody had a bad experience with and there’s so many examples.
I just try to leverage ours if somebody had a bad experience with something all right, well, can we give them access to something else. Now we also in many business owners know this, you have to pay a tight, we have to safeguard certain situations, because there are people that will try to rip off our online resources, even though we can see on the back end, they haven’t actually gone into them, access them and done their due diligence. So while we provide, we provide a refund, if people have gone through our courses, legitimately tried at all that and they didn’t like it, we can provide a refund within a certain amount of days, we do require that they actually send in examples of the work that they’ve done.
Because otherwise, there’s just amazing, you would see people who access the course on a Thursday morning and somehow tried getting through saying they got through 20 hours of content within three hours. And we can see they downloaded all that material, and then we’d find it on their website. So you have to think about those pieces as well. Because just unfortunately people some people will and Amazon we had some of that worked for Amazon worked with us in the past.
And they said it’s amazing how many people will request refunds, and they just to stash extra stuff. So they actually have an internal rating as a company where at least they had an aspect that led to this. I don’t know if they do now. But you know, people have requested too many refunds, you know, they’re gonna start getting denied because they know people are gonna try to beat this system. And that’s just a sad part of human nature.
Brett Bartholomew 53:53
So that’s, that’s a piece of it. But you’ve got to think what what other forms could that apology take place? Sometimes we send people food, sometimes we just send people a handwritten note. So it goes into medium, knowing your audience, knowing the situation and thinking about it as a whole.
Guys, listen, I know, this seems like a lot of information just about apologies. I know a lot of it seems obvious. But if we did the obvious things, right in life, we wouldn’t see so many of the issues that we see. And so to close this out, I want to look at a case study of another bad apology, or a good and bad apology in a situation where somebody wasn’t happy with an imaginary service. Alright, so and I’m gonna break all this down.
So let’s say there was somebody named Dave, who reached out to you or your organization and never heard back because of blank issue, whatever that issue was, right? And there was some of that was your fault due to any number of circumstances. Remember, we’re not going to worry about a whole email chain here, just principles. So let’s imagine you’re writing Dave back. This is option one, and we’ll talk about what’s wrong with it. What’s wrong with it. Bla bla bla Dave, thank you for reaching out to our organization, you seem to be very upset. And for that I’m sorry. We have never had anyone complain about this before, please tell us what would make this right for you.
Now at face value, that last line could make something this is a really strong apology. And maybe in some contexts it is. But if this is a first interaction with Dave, not that strong for a number of reasons, thank you for reaching out to our organization, who, first of all, be good to introduce yourself. It’s better if that says, hey, Ali here from the team. And I want to first introduce myself and say I’m sorry, and then go into it.
Now, there’s a million other ways you could do that. Because you could say, well, Brett, you use it I’m sorry, isn’t the only way you want to end it? Of course not. The email would continue. But introduce yourself first basic human principles, instead of thank you for reaching out to our organization and sounding like a robot. The second line, you seem to be very upset. And for that, I’m sorry. That’s another thing that just sounds robotic. But believe it or not,
Brett Bartholomew 56:05
I got this type of email sent to me when I complained about a service that I had received once. It’s like, Yeah, I’m upset, like, but do you have any idea as to why can you show me that you read any other aspect of my email? And by the way, I don’t care that you’re sorry, let me know what you’re going to do about it. Which they didn’t do in this example, if you remember me reading it, top to bottom, when they then say, we have never had anybody complained about this before. Okay, that doesn’t matter to me if I’m an angry customer.
Now, admittedly, there’s been times where I’ve said this, and we’re trying to make the point that, hey, this is rare, right? This is rare, but we’re willing to hear you out. So I can’t sit here and say that I’ve never done this. Because there are some times where somebody might complain about the color on our website, or they go like, Hey, I didn’t like the way this PDF was printed out on the course.
And you’re just like, oh, boy, okay, but you’ve got to continue to try to make people happy to a degree. And then to say, please tell us what would make this right for you? Well, you’re not giving them any options. So this is a highly impersonal reply, that essentially doesn’t really take any responsibility. And then just puts the onus on the other individual without even giving them examples of what would make them right or what you’re willing to offer. Let’s contrast that with option two. Dave, Brett here from art of coaching, I saw your email and immediately wanted to address your concerns. As you are right, this was unacceptable. The first thing I want to make clear is we are determined to make this right for you.
Brett Bartholomew 57:43
While we take a great deal of pride in our ability to communicate and provide excellent service, sometimes we fall short. And this has clearly been one of those times. As the owner, I take full responsibility. And once again, I’m very sorry. I also appreciate that saying sorry, doesn’t fix the issue. So trust me when I say it’s not management speak, when I say we value you. And that’s why we’ve chosen to offer three options below with respect to how we’d like to amend this situation, please let us know which of these options is most suitable to you. Or if you’d like to jump on a phone, the phone call with me or another member of our team, we will make that happen as well. Sincerely, Brett.
Now that’s certainly not perfect. But there’s a number of things we tried to do here. One, introduce yourself and show you a real person, Brett from art of coaching, Stacey, from Apple, Clint from Amazon, Jamarcus, from blank, whatever, tell me who you are. If I’m upset, I want to know who I’m speaking to, I don’t want to talk to a robot. I saw your email and immediately wanted to address your concerns as you’re right, this is unacceptable. Letting them know you did read it, it’s even better if you can add specific examples. And then saying you’re right, this is unacceptable. I’m taking accountability.
So then in the next sentence, saying, I want to clarify that we are determined to make this right. And we while we take great pride in our ability to communicate and provide excellent service.
Brett Bartholomew 59:15
So that’s an interesting piece, I am going to say that because I know our company does, on average, do a damn good job at those things. And I do think that it is up to other people to take some responsibility. I just think if you want to make something right, and you’re ultimately reaching out, because a mistake has been made, and you want something done about it, it takes no effort for you to be polite.
And it takes no effort for you to just take this thing out of your words in the emotion and be an adult. And also just because I am going to protect our company, you know, unless we do something completely egregious, but you know, the the fact is, is we’re a small company, we got five employees, and there’s turnover and those things happen. And so sometimes there’s gonna be mistakes, but that’s why I also bolster that by saying sometimes we fall short.
If you read between the lines, guys, what I’m saying is, we’re determined to make this right. We do take pride in who we are. But we’re also human, and we clearly messed up. And I take responsibility once again. So then I acknowledge that I’m sorry, doesn’t fix the issue. Because remember, it shouldn’t be, it’s not the end of anything, it’s the beginning of something new. So I say, Here’s three options.
Now, in this example, I didn’t lay them out, because it’s not it’s pointless with respect to this, this podcast, but those options could be, you know, here’s your money back, here’s another course that’s near you, we’re happy to give you discounted access, whatever that is, but you want to make it fit the crime. And on the other end, as a business, you have to protect yourself. Because you don’t want people taking advantage of it.
Brett Bartholomew 1:00:44
Now, if this is a personal relationship, that’s another thing. I could say, hey, Liz, I’m sorry, I hijacked your day off, I’ll tell you what, here is a massage, I was gifted, go take that you deserve another afternoon on me, and I’ll cover your work, right, there’s options that you can do there as well. And then I wrap that up with Dave by saying, please let me know which one’s most suitable to you. Or if you’d like to jump on the phone with me or another member of our team, that’s another attempt at creating a personal relationship.
So you take a look at those two options. Which one’s right for you is going to depend on the situation, the culture, the relationship with that person, the nature of how they reached out, but hopefully the guiding principles make this make sense to you. And as we wrap up, the thing that just the core of this, especially if you’re younger, in your career, you’re somebody that’s prone to let your emotions get the best of you not that you have to be young for that to happen by any means, but just trying to speak to different ends of the spectrum.
Brett Bartholomew 1:01:42
Communication is irreversible. Once something is said or done, it can’t just be put back into a box. And that’s why we always say at Art of coaching, communication is the one thing that if you don’t train, invest in and refine, it’s gonna be guaranteed to make your life worse, in just about every other way. You can think about it on average, how many great communicators you guys run into on a daily basis, not many.
So you know, with respect to apologies, in particular, they’re incredibly complex. And nothing beats role playing, if you want to get even better at it. So I’m not going to apologize, I say this tongue in cheek, when I tell you that if you really want to improve, get your butt to one of our Apprenticeship leader development workshops, and do this in real time. Because you think you got it down, though, when you videotape yourself, you record it, or we video for you.
And you you have to work against different personalities, you might be really good at apologizing to somebody on your staff. But somebody else did the apprenticeship dials up the heat on you a little bit because it will give people you know, different attitudinal characteristics that they have to play up or play down or will shrink the amount of time that you have to interact with that individual. I mean, we try to change the temperature in the room quick.
So you get good at a lot of different scenarios, that changes things and brings a lot of truth to where your skills are really at. And mind you, it’s a place that we normalize failure, like, you want to figure out your blind spots, you want to be in a safe space to train this, everybody eats Crow, when we come together and do this, and that’s why we get better. But between now and then whenever you come.
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:22
Simply remember that aside from everything I’ve outlined, a lot of times, guys, the art of crafting, the perfect apology just comes down to the fact you need to understand. People want to feel heard. They want to be seen. They want to feel respected, and they absolutely want to feel in control. People love nothing more than to feel in control. So if you can find this balance of making sure they feel heard, validating certain concerns, you know, but also still respecting your stance because they play a role in it too, no matter what. But giving them a sense of control and autonomy and just understanding of how you are going to do your part to make it right.
You’ve come a long way because most people just don’t even think about apologizing there, that woman in the airport that I told you about that just launched themselves into my bag, looked up from their phone and scoffed at me despite having 15 meters free space on either side. People just want certainty they want their emotions and needs recognize. They’re selfish. They’re selfish little creatures. So as hard as it is to swallow your pride whenever a situation unravels, just understand those pieces. And that’s the best way that you can ensure that you’re going to be different than those that want to blame everybody else in the world around. Because I’ll tell you this, and this is the point I’ll leave you with.
Brett Bartholomew 1:04:40
The future belongs to those dedicated to thinking laterally. Those who prioritize great or at least improved communication, and those who are going to play in the gray area are willing to play in the gray area more effectively. If you want more on how to do this. Make sure you’re subscribed to artofcoaching.com/begin which is our newsletter, because I’m going to be covering it more in depth in my next book, and in our newsletter across time, where we always drop details, discounts, and more strategies.
I know this episode was a lot by the end of these things. I am tired of hearing my own voice. But I hope there’s some things here that you can revisit and take heed with and that help you in the future.
Thanks for joining me guys. I’ll talk to you next time.
Did you enjoy the show?
Your support ensures the best quality guests and listening experience.