The Leadership of Sorry

This blog is inspired by a Facebook post of an amazing human who is in our Mastermind group. This is what she wrote :

I’m not sorry.

I’m not sorry I spoke too loudly, not sorry I was standing there when you walked into me, not sorry when my passion shines through and I get excited, not sorry when you don’t like the way I do things, not sorry when I succeed and I’m most definitely not sorry if you don’t like me.

I’m sick of being “sorry” for inconsequential exchanges on a daily basis. This narrative no longer suits me. Being sorry for every little thing is like being sorry I exist…. and I’m not.

I am sorry whenI do something wrong but no longer will I apologise to make you feel better about my presence.

This post is not directed at any other person than myself. Breaking the habit of apologising will take some adjusting but I’m up for the challenge.

What is sorry? Why would we be sorry? Why would we not be sorry? How do we say sorry? This is a discussion that arises regularly when we are coaching someone or listening to our own language deeply. We often see the sorry discussion in relation to indigenous people’s who over the decades in many countries including our own have been treated disgustingly. In this case, sorry is a no brainer. When you have actually harmed somebody (with or without intent) saying sorry is a no brainer. When you have obviously and actually and visibly wrong about something to someone, sorry is a no brainer.

But what about the examples above? If we have learned over time to be incredibly passive in our explanatory style, to pepper our conversation with sorry without needing to just because it has become a habit, that is a different story. As a leader we want to be influencing ourselves and others, regular habitual sorry’s will simply serve to undermine your efforts. You will be passive, weak and undermining yourself and others when you overuse this very important word. It will also severely diffuse its effectiveness. When you actually do say it and mean it , people will not be able to appreciate the difference.

Being regularly habitually sorry for things that don’t matter in the scheme of things causes us to disconnect from ourselves. The word, in fact becomes an avoidance technique for discussing how we truly feel about something.

I would encourage you moving forward with the word sorry and in fact all our language. Be discerning, be specific, be intentional. Truly say exactly what you mean, that is your responsibility. The other person is then able to respond how they choose. When we minimise ourselves through this habit we also disempower others, it becomes a no use situation.

However, if you are the kid of person who is rude, arrogant, caught up with your own opinion and know that you need to give someone from the past or the present and apology, do it now. Own your contribution to the world through your language.

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