Leaders Coach Past the Reflexive “Sorry”

Do you—or someone on your team—say “sorry” a lot? I’m not talking about apologies for infractions. Instead, I’m referring to the reflexive “sorry” uttered habitually when slightly late. Or smoothing the way after a potential minor offense. There is some research that supports the idea that frequent use of the word “sorry” can negatively impact … Read more

Productive Conflict: Stop Blaming

“Yeah, I ran over my time limit for the meeting, but if Susan had been on time, we could have started the meeting on time.” “Oh, sorry about that. Rickie forgot to include her report. She had information I needed, so mine didn’t get done.” “If you weren’t so uptight, we could have more fun … Read more

Productive Conflict: Revisit Unresolved Issues

Beth is a sixty-two-year-old grandmother of four, who’s looking forward to retirement. She’s worked in the banking industry for forty years and knows the ins and outs of how the company functions. She’s an executive who focuses a lot of her time and energy on business strategy and investments. Armando is new to the world … Read more

Productive Conflict: Apologize

Nothing shows humility, grace, and vulnerability like a sincere apology. Note: I’m not talking about a non-apology or a rushed “I’m sorry.” I’m taking about real, sincere apologies that build trust, extinguish guilt, and provide healing. Examples of non-apologies: I’m sorry, but… I’m sorry you took it that way. Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. My … Read more

Leaders Avoid Confusing People

I was visiting my best friend Matt, and his young sons Alex and Owen were outside playing. Owen came in and shut the glass door, leaving Alex accidentally locked outside. When Alex looked through the glass, amused but pleading, I channeled “Nelson” from The Simpsons, pointed at him and fake-laughed “HA – ha!” Owen looked … Read more

Leaders apologize, and teach others how to do so

Matt shares the Quantum Apology Model with Alan; the AAMR method helps leaders – and anyone – apologize with sincerity and grace in order to improve positive relationships and move forward from conflict or misunderstanding. Related posts: What if someone rejects an apology? Apologies