Humility is a virtue. And, for most of us, it doesn’t come easily. Particularly for those of us who want to be good at our jobs and to please to whom we report, owning up to a mistake at work can be a difficult task. Management professor Robert Sutton offers advice about how to deliver a truly effective apology in his book, Good Boss, Bad Boss. A recent article about Sutton’s advice summarizes it in three steps.
1. Own It
When you make a mistake at work, own your actions. And own them completely. Don’t combine your apology with an excuse. Omit the word “but” from every apology. For example: