It is difficult to admit one’s own faults, but it might be even more difficult to convince another person to do so.
Prince Harry is rumored to desire an apology before attending King Charles III’s coronation, as politicians are notorious for their non-apology apologies.
Even Microsoft’s chatbot Bing, which uses artificial intelligence, is said to have asked a user to say sorry.
What we see in the media also occurs in the workplace.
Mediators in the workplace frequently hear that parties seek an apology and observe how difficult it may be to obtain one.
Although you cannot force someone to apologize, there are steps you may take to help.
These are three questions you may ask yourself to help you handle the issue and prepare the road for an apology, taken from the toolkit of a workplace mediator.
1. How do I want the apology to appear?
In many workplace mediations, people say they can’t move forward until a supervisor or coworker says sorry.
Such feelings include, “I need them to apologize, but I know they won’t,” or “I need them to apologize in front of the entire squad.”
It may be transforming to hear a sincere apology, but there is frequently more to it than just saying “I’m sorry.”
In spite of the fact that we may believe we share a common concept of an apology, its meaning might vary from person to person.
Hence, the first thing to ask yourself is: What do you hope to achieve with the apology?
Consider how it will benefit your circumstances.
What does it entail for you?
Do you wish to hear the words or comprehend the conduct underlying someone’s actions?
You might expect your boss to show compassion or empathy, or to show that they are taking responsibility for what they did.
Perhaps you are seeking acknowledgement of how someone’s activities have affected you and assurances that the behaviors will not be repeated.By thinking about what you really need, you can decide if an apology is what you want and if it will be enough.
2: How can I best position myself to accept an apology?
Creating the proper conditions for an apology is the next stage.
There are several reasons why apologies may not be forthcoming, despite their desirability.
An apology may be seen as an admission of guilt, leaving the apologizer vulnerable to blame or repercussions.
This may be especially applicable in instances involving a supervisor who feels forced to retain their position of control.
In addition, if there hasn’t been an open debate about the issue, you may not completely comprehend their position, and having a fuller knowledge may shift your viewpoint.
So, it is essential to determine the appropriate conditions for your talk.
This involves assessing the actual area where you want to hold your conversation, whether in person or online, and how you can carve out time with the other person.
Then, one must establish reasonable expectations for oneself and others.
You may desire a written apology, but you may not receive one.
Your inclination may be to meet your supervisor in person, but they may decline.
You must also keep in mind that the corporation may have certain expectations.
In general, it is preferable not to enter with a predetermined perspective.
Have an open mind to alternative viewpoints and the chance that you may change your mind during a conversation, as is often the case in our conflict management practice.
3. What can I provide in exchange?
Frequently, more than one person’s activities contribute to a conflict scenario.
If entire accountability is assigned to a single individual, that individual will likely become defensive and less receptive to conversation.
Demonstrating a willingness to share responsibility for the problem changes the emphasis away from assigning sole blame to the other party and promotes empathy and connection, which are essential for resolving disagreements.
Consider what you can provide in return as the third consideration.
You may consider the possibility that it was not their aim to come off as critical but that you were deeply offended by their remarks.
You may see that you may have misconstrued their words.
Perhaps there were things you might have done differently at the time, and you also acknowledge that you have room for development.
When we have an honest talk with a person with whom we are in conflict, the discourse frequently discloses different facts, so it is beneficial to enter these dialogues with an open mind.
Everyone typically has a role to play in a conflict.
Be conscious of your needs, be adaptable, and consider your responsibilities.
It’s possible that, after considering the situation in this manner, you discover you don’t want the word “sorry,” but something else that is more important and provides greater clarity.
You may even conclude that an apology is unnecessary.