Making a big mistake at work is never a good feeling, but one of the worst feelings is when you put your foot in your mouth in front of some important people. The Wall Street Journal suggests your best recourse is to apologise as quickly as possible in the same setting you made the mistake in.
Picture: Marcin Wichary
We’re all prone to a slip of the tongue in a public setting, and chances are you’ve had a knee-jerk reaction to something at the office and said something stupid at least once. The best thing you can do is apologise as quickly as possible to everyone you might have offended:
The apology needs to be direct and the offender should take full responsibility, says Marilyn Puder-York, Ph.D., a psychologist and executive coach. It should convey: “I recognise what I did was inappropriate, I recognise it had [an] impact I didn’t intend, no one is blaming the universe or a bad night’s sleep,” she says.
And if you made the gaffe in public, your mea culpa should also be public, experts say. (This is common sense advice for politicians standing in front of open mics, everywhere.) Just make sure the apology is sincere.
So whether you just told a wildly inappropriate joke at the Christmas party, or you accidentally dropped an F-bomb in an otherwise conservative office — the best thing you can do is apologise with sincerity as quickly as possible. From there, the Wall Street Journal recommends you move on and don’t keep revisiting the mistake.
After an Office Gaffe, Several Ways to Say You’re Sorry [Wall Street Journal]