3 Ways To Apologise To A Co- worker You Have Offended
1. When you make a funny joke about thier childhood
Everyone has strong opinions about dumb things, from the best nostalgic TV shows, to your elementary lunchbox snacks, to the worst hometowns. I’ve honestly lost count of the number of times I’ve said, “My commute stinks, but at least I don’t live in that neighborhood.”
Or even worse, “Yeah, that seems like a good deal for a plane ticket, but why would you ever want to go there ?” And in each case, I’ve learned that someone across from me either grew up in one of those places or travels there for a beloved family vacation each year.
HOW TO RECOVER
There isn’t necessarily a silver-bullet solution to bouncing back from saying, “Hey, the way you grew up is the worst!” Your coworkers tend to take pride in that kind of thing. But I’ve found that a little self-deprecating humor can go a long way.
After all, I’m from what many people call the armpit of America. Colleagues will find it difficult not to laugh with you if take a jab at yourself in the same breath.
2. YOU’LL OFFER HELP THAT’S UNWANTED–AND FLAT OUT WRONG
You should be commended for offering help whenever you see fit. That means you’re a good teammate, right? In most cases, yes.
But there are also times when you interject on something that you’re not quite up to speed on. And even though your intentions are good, it’s easy to annoy your coworkers by offering a bit of advice they didn’t ask for–and then being completely wrong because you didn’t know exactly what was going on in the first place.
HOW TO RECOVER
Here’s where a simple apology can go a long way. I can still remember a time when I was “corrected” about a stat I used in a piece that someone thought was interpreted incorrectly.
And even though I tried to rebuff the advice politely, I got radio silence afterwards–which was totally irritating. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong. The words “I’m sorry” are a simple and effective way for both of you to move forward without any hard feelings. (Just in case you need them:
3. YOU’LL GIVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK THAT ACTUALLY SOUNDS SARCASTIC
There’s nothing wrong with adding a little personality to your interactions at work. In fact, I’d encourage it. But sometimes your choice of words can mean the difference between making someone feel good about the work they’ve done–and making them think you’re messing with them.