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As the saying goes “to err is human”, which means everyone makes mistakes – including your boss. If you admit your mistakes and express guilt, you might expect to be forgiven. However, according to a recent study, managers are rarely felt sorry or genuinely feel guilty about it. Employees think bosses or managers generally apologize only to avoid conflicts.
This belief can have a negative impact on your team. It's extremely crucial for workers to be on the same page as managers, and even the smallest disconnect can cause unnecessary tension leading to poor results.
Do you want to be sure that your employees trust your honesty? Here are three tips to persuade your team that you really feel sorry.
1. Develop strong company culture.
You must show your workers that you not merely interested in their work and but also how you are benefiting their career, and then see a change in their attitude.
If employers want employees to believe them when they say, I’m sorry, we first need to work on changing the culture that makes employers and employees feel as though they are on different social stratospheres.
To do this, Mr Subba Rao, Recruitment Head, Infra Bazaar Pvt. Ltd. advised talking to the team about topics other than work and finding ways to reverse the roles can work as a catalyst for a big change. This can be as simple as brewing coffee for your team or bringing bagels to work.
Our staff must see our humane angle and most importantly make them realize that we view them as unique, worthy and inherently valuable individuals. They shouldn't struggle to believe that we are sincere when we apologize.
Anyone can be a boss, but not everyone can be a leader. You should not act like a corporate robot; else your employees will never trust your regret. If you are considerate to your entire team they will never doubt your emotions for a second.
2. Only apologize if you mean it.
You can say sorry all you want, but if you don't genuinely feel bad about something, it will show.
"Crocodile tears don't work," said Skeen. "People spot insincerity from a mile away. If you aren't truly sorry, don't apologize. It will do more damage than good."
The same goes for repeated mistakes. A spoken apology will not mean anything unless your team really feels it that you are remorseful for it, your team will think you simply don't care. Express your sorrow by not only admitting your faults but also by learning from the past mistakes and making a change.
Workers pretty well understand where your intentions lie – with the company rather than its workers, when you apologize because you think you should. This will position you in dangerous territory as a boss.
3. Take full ownership of your mistake.
When you screw up, don't point fingers at anyone but yourself. You want to set a good example for your workers by showing them that you hold yourself accountable.
"Express awareness of the implications of your mistake on others," said Skeen. "If what you did create more work or other problems for people on your team, list those implications. It helps when people see that you know what it feels like to walk in their shoes."
Most importantly, listen to your workers, he added. If they have any lingering concerns, treat them with respect. You've created the mess – it's your responsibility to clean it up.
"It means a lot to your people when they see you rolling up your sleeves and getting in the trenches with them," said Skeen. "The more my folks experience me to be one of them, the more they respect me and the more loyal they are."
Skeen also asks what he can do to restore a damaged relationship, should there be any. That way, there is no negative energy within the team.
"The interpersonal dynamics between you and your people are one of your most important levers for success," he said. "When people like you, believe in you and feel like they are in partnership with you, they tend to give you their very best."