There is a moment that encourages people, especially women, to say “I’m sorry” less frequently. Some feel that females apologize for things that do not warrant a mea culpa when the same sentiment can be achieved with a “thank you” instead.

For example: “I’m sorry I’m late” can be replaced with “Thank you for waiting on me” or “I’m sorry to ask you for a favor” to “Thank you for helping me out.”

There may or may not be merit to this line of thinking but what I do know is that “I’m sorry” still has its place – specifically in the customer service realm. I recently was overcharged – again – at Sam’s and while the manager gave me a robust explanation for how the error occurred, he never apologized, either with an “I’m sorry” or even a “thank you”.

And when American canceled yet another of my flights, the customer service rep was so unhelpful that I spoke with her manager and he, too, failed to give any type of apology for requiring a mad dash to the airport a day before my originally scheduled flight as the only option to make it to my destination before my gig.

It is one thing to apologize unnecessarily but it is far more egregious not to apologize at all when warranted. Don’t be sorry that you neglected to express regret when you fail to serve.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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