Have you ever given your word to someone and then not delivered?
I’ve missed deadlines lately and, for “The Trust Architect” who knows that trust can be lost with small promises that are not kept, I am feeling beyond anxious. I have a million excuses but even to my own ears, they sound a little weak.
I have three articles that I have promised to write and I’ve been swearing at the muse for abandoning me and leaving me with a whole lot of blah, blah, and blah! I have stopped and started half a dozen articles, only to get two paragraphs down and hit the delete button.
So, regardless of how difficult this is to write, I’m going to channel the character Dory from Finding Nemo and “just keep swimming”.
The first thing I will do is to take the time and contact the people I’ve made promises to. I’ve written articles on how to apologize, so I’ll dust them off and swallow my discomfort. When I talk to the people I promised the articles to, I’ll do what I tell others and “but” out. That means I’ll let them know what is happening but I won’t use it as an excuse for not contacting them sooner.
My sincere apology is:
S — Sorry: Be authentic and contrite. (That should be easy ‘cause that’s how I feel!)
I — Intentional: Make sure they know why I am sorry.
N — No excuses: Avoid “if”, “but” and “maybe”.
C — Consequences: Accept the consequences of my inaction.
E — Empathy: See it through their eyes.
R — Restitution: What I will do going forward.
E — Expect… that they may need time or don’t want to accept my apology.
I know in the grand scheme of things that this isn’t the worst that could happen but I sincerely try to follow the cardinal rule of trust and “do what I said I’d do”.
How about you? What do you do when you mess up?