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Geoff's Blog: Try Apologizing

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Geoff's Blog

Geoff Pinkus

Try Apologizing

2/2/2009   Comment on This

Apologizing in today's society seems to be a big deal. They say it takes a big man to apologize. I say it takes a wise man.

We all make many mistakes, especially rapid people such as myself. I remember years ago when I was in the furniture business, the factory that I represented hauled the New York sales rep and myself down to the factory in Virginia, in a small town called Galax. I was furious because they called me on a Friday to be there on the following Monday, and I had to pay a full fare, which was something like $800 back in the early 90's. I had no choice. I didn't think they were going to fire us because they would have done that on the phone.

They were trying to make a point that if they called down the two largest territories to read them the riot act, the rest of the sales force would also be put on notice. I remember sitting in a room, and management started firing away at both of us. They had zero class, calling both of us into the room at the same time, but it was their bat, ball, and playing field.

The New York sales rep was a great guy. Much nicer than myself. Fortunately for me, they started with him first. He tried to defend himself with facts and figures and got hammered even more. When it came to the Pinker, they looked at me and blasted away.

After the owner and sales manager talked to us so unprofessionally, they asked, "Pinkus--what do you have to say for yourself?"

All I said was, "Sorry guys--I will improve my performance."

In amazement they had no words. What can you say back to someone if you say you're sorry? If the person doesn't accept your apology, it's now on them.

I also remember when I was a kid, my parents never said they were sorry. They were good people who came from a different generation. Kids of all generations put their parents on a pedestal. It's human nature. We all make mistakes as parents. The key is to apologize when you screw up. You are teaching them two important lessons: One is that mom and dad do make mistakes. We are also human. The second part of the equation is teaching your kids to say they're sorry as well. It takes the bullet out of the other side. If you are sincere, people do pick up on it. Try it sometime. Instead of arguing your point, ALWAYS just say, "Hey, I screwed up. It was my bad. I'm sorry." It takes a few seconds and it works wonders.

Have you found that apologizing helps? Tell me your story.
 

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