Recently, I attended a Women’s Leadership program where I was a participant in the learning session and a coach in a small group working session. One of the speakers in the learning session shared a very short video in which women were constantly saying “I’m Sorry”, when someone almost walked into them, when asking a question in a meeting and when asking for help with a task. While I don’t believe it’s just women who find themselves saying “sorry” for things, the session was eye opening.
I never really paid attention to how often I personally say I am sorry in a given day. Now there are times when saying sorry isn’t a bad thing. In fact sometime, self-deprecating humor or apologizing can be a way to ease into a conversation or discussion.
Take a recent board meeting. I had a question that in my opinion I felt maybe I should know. I leaned over to another board member and said “I’m sorry, this is probably
a stupid question…” Would you look at that? In one short sentence I not only apologized for a legitimate question I needed answered but the listener now has a tainted viewpoint of the question…that it will be stupid.
Changing the wording can be helpful. In fact, I caught myself in the moment and told him that it wasn’t a stupid question but rather question I still had not found an answer for.
Take a look at how often you are saying ‘Sorry’. Can you change what you say? Just today, I found myself and another person trying to get into the same doorway. I would normally say “I’m sorry” but today I said, please go ahead. Maybe it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks!?!?!?