An old song has a line which goes “It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry…”. Does that happen to you? Do you think you’ll be seen as weak if you truly say you’re sorry? Actually, to me, yes, if you say you’re sorry, you’re a sorry weakling. Do you know why? Well, it’s because “sorry” doesn’t mean anything anymore. It has been mouthed too many times and has been used too often to pass on the responsibility for wrongdoing to someone or to something else.
For “sorry” to mean anything, there has first of all got to be a deep sense of responsibility that, yes, it was I that did wrong. Yes, it was I that did not honour you, that despised you and therefore had a stinking attitude of superciliousness towards you. Yes, it was I who did not respect your rightful ownership of your property and your time, in that I was both negligent and slothful in not conducting a thorough inspection and repair of your vehicle, resulting in you having the accident. Yes, how many of us would own up? How many of us, after being forced to give up our seats on the bus or the train, would apologize for having such a shameful attitude towards others in genuine need? Yes. Be sorry and make sure you have a deep understanding why you ought to be sorry.
Then humble yourself and ask for forgiveness. This is really hard. It puts you under the feet of the other party. The other party may decide not to forgive you. But you know what? If you have the guts to do so, you earn a clear conscience even if the other person is unwilling to forgive you. Give them time. Perhaps they have been hurt too much by your attitude and actions and are waiting to see how genuine you really are! Yes, a hard thing to do, but worth it!
Finally, offer to make restitution. Go beyond the cost of damage prima facie, because you have inflicted pain. You have caused mental anguish. You have wasted someone else’s resources, especially time, which can never be recovered. Make restitution, and do not do it grudgingly.
Had enough? Stop squirming! You need to do all that if you want to be a real leader! I once went to a fellow trainer and did something similar. I had offended him with some of my thoughtless remarks and a great coldness had come over our relationship. I found him alone one day and asked him to forgive me for my prideful attitude towards him. Well, he didn’t say anything, but his attitude towards me took a turn for the better, and I am glad to say that we are still friends today! You can make things better, too! Start now!