I am an ardent believer in apologies – because to say that everyone makes mistakes would be putting it mildly, it is a somewhat gross understatement of the fact. Mistakes seem to be the bane of human survival, and infractions – the bread and butter of co-existence, but rather than stand the risk of losing an ally at any and all levels a resolution could be reached by simply offering an apology.
Acknowledging your shortcomings/ admitting a mistake is never easy but has to be done – here are a few tips for writing an apology message that carries a tone that would deliver your true intentions with ease;
- Start With a Greeting
Depending on the basis of the relationship is it important to address the recipient of the apology with their title in a short salutation before proceeding.
- Go Straight Into The Apology; With Detailed Specifics Of The Situation
It is important to state immediately the purpose for the message as this would ensure that they are fully aware of your wrong and you are remorseful.
- Acknowledge The Hurt And Damage Done And Its Implications
Include an acknowledgement of the implications of your actions. This should further assure them that you have given thorough thought to the situation created and you are full of regret.
- Take Full Responsibility, Acknowledging Clearly That The Fault Is Yours
Resist the urge you might have to ascribe blame to anyone but yourself. While you might be making a valid point by also stating that they are equally to blame, it does nothing to help the already bad situation, and may fan the flames of anger even further.
- Include A Statement Of Regret
State very clearly that you regret the situation and fully realize that it shouldn’t have occurred in the first place.
- Provide A Solution To Ease The Damage Caused
To further strengthen your apology, suggest a means of solving the problem created, this should demonstrate your remorse and willingness to end all contentions.
- End With The Willingness To Change And Ensure That There Are No Future Reoccurrences
Conclude the message with a gentle reassurance that the circumstance will not occur, to the extent that it is in your power to ensure.
Depending on its purpose and recipient, here are a few apology message samples that may serve as a template for yours;
SAMPLE APOLOGY MESSAGE TO BOSS
Kindly accept my sincere apology for my absence at the previously held board meeting with the stakeholders on Monday – it was the result of a personal situation which required immediate attention, but not withstanding, I realize the significance of the meeting to our organization and how unprofessional it was to be absent without any prior notice.
I truly cannot express my remorse, as I understand it must have been awkward explaining my absence to our customers who had expected that I would be present at the meeting, and I take absolute responsibility, knowing that this behavior does not measure up with expectations of the staff of this organization.
I have drafted apology letters, which on your approval will be sent to both customers and shareholders present at the meeting.
Kindly let me know if there is any other thing I can do to salvage the situation.
SAMPLE APOLOGY MESSAGE TO COLLEGUE
Dear Mr Franklin,
I would like to apologize for the fiasco that ensued at the customer service section yesterday while you made an attempt to draw my attention to a few overlooked details.
I am sincerely sorry, and I assure you that the incident had no preconceived intentions or negative motivation, but my outburst was mostly the result of my frustrations encountered in getting so much work done in such little time.
I take full responsibility for my actions and as I assure you that it won’t reoccur, I would also sincerely like to correct whatever negative impressions I have made of myself, kindly let me know what I can do to restore our working relationship.
Thank you for your invaluable understanding.
Customer Care Representative
SAMPLE APOLOGY MESSAGE TO BEST FRIEND
You have been extremely patient with me so this must sound like a broken record by now, but I’m sorry for not showing up to the party like we agreed.
In all honesty, I hardly have any excuse that is a justifiable enough reason to have let you down like that but I sincerely hope that you see that was not a deliberate attempt to spite you and I wouldn’t consciously hurt you.
I accept both the full responsibility of my actions, as well as the task of making it up to you in any way possible.
You are a wonderful friend, who I do not deserve.
After all said and done, there is no apology as valid as the non-reoccurrence of bad situations. Nobody is above mistakes, but it is also true that nobody is indispensable.