I think it was sometime last year, or maybe in ‘09, I attended a lecture given by a self-professed expert on productivity and business etiquette (aka Consultant). How the two go together or why I attended this lecture are not important. The one thing I remember about this speaker – other than everything I’ve forgotten – is a claim that in the business world one should never apologize. The rationale was nobody cares and it makes you look weak. I didn’t agree with the speaker then and a few miles down the road, I still don’t buy into the notion that there’s no place for apologies in the workplace.
A couple of weeks ago, I was among a small handful of folks involved in a situation that went a tad south. Rather than dancing around the issue like Tony Manero on a feverous Saturday night in Brooklyn – circa 1977, I simply apologized (even though I was only tangentially at fault). Not long after my impalement upon the sword, my calculated mea culpa cooled down a contentious situation. The other (more responsible) culprits also voiced their regrets and in a matter of moments, we erupted into a rousing chorus of Kumbaya! (And yes, we resolved the problem that started all this drama)
If you’ve read a post or two on this blog, you’ll know that I avoid discussing work, at least directly. I get more pleasure writing about the other 16 hours of my day! But this week, I’m making a slight exception. I don’t care too much about the self-gratification of disproving a know it all consultant. In my own little way, I’m happy that my taking a chance and following that little GPS voice in my head led me to get off the blame-game highway and exit onto the high road interstate, which dropped me off at favorable outcome boulevard – a favorable outcome for yours truly and the others involved in this little moral road trip.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting all moist and squishy in my middle age. I certainly don’t believe in rolling over and exposing your soft, pink furry middle like Fido after a whiz on the carpet, but I just don’t see anything wrong with expressing a little contrition when we mistakenly dot a t or cross an i.
So for anyone in the sound of my virtual voice whom I’ve done wrong….I’m sorry!