December 11, 2017

Archives for January 2016

How do you react to the phrase “I’m disappointed with how I behaved” or similar?

Woman reflectingLast couple of years, it seems to have become common for a person or an organisation which has messed up or done something stupid to try and construct what should be an apology with a sentence that begins “I’m really disappointed that I was a xxx yesterday / or did yyy.” (Insert relevant embarrassing identity or behaviour.)

I saw one of these in the media last week. It was a company on that occasion. I forget who—maybe just as well.

Perhaps a few years ago, a PR person thought using “disappointed with myself” was a clever idea—a way to avoid responsibility without actually blaming anyone else.

Trouble is…

It might put some distance between the person and the embarrassment, but unfortunately it also puts an ocean between them and their credibility—because it’s so pathetically not leading, seeming to say “I’m a victim: Please sympathise with me.” Or “I’m not really that person” or “We’re not really that organisation.”

I’d say don’t use this squirmy construction. Own what you did, even if it’s bad, and just apologise and say what you’re going to do about the problem. That way lies credibility and respect.

That’s what I think anyway.

How does the “disappointed” phrase land with you? Do you think it works?

Will your contacts support your progression?

Networking groupIf we’re not to stand still, or worse, go backwards, we obviously need to keep developing: We need to progress.

That means change.

Now, will our existing contacts welcome that change? Some will, some won’t, presumably. No doubt, most are supportive, and certainly mean to be supportive. But even so, change can be unsettling and they may struggle to accept our changing identity. It might “bring up” issues for them, which they’d rather not face, or disappointments. And their reactions could tend to hold us back.

Brand new contacts, on the other hand, accept us as they first encounter us (or not, as the case may be). There’s no potential loss for them in doing so.

That might mean meeting a steady flow of new people is important to our development, not just because they contribute to that development itself, but also because we have no history with them. We get to start fresh from where we’re now at.

We need the support of our existing contacts: Of course, we do.

Quite likely, we also need some other people who will take us as they find us.

What do you think? Will your contacts support your progression?