Mentors are important in any profession. They can teach you the ropes, give you advice, valuable lessons, and help guide you when you’re lost.
In my career, I’ve had many mentors who have taught me a lot of valuable lessons.
But there’s one lesson that stands out above all the rest: keep reading to find out (and it’s not what you think).
Also, if you don’t have one, go find a mentor (or two or three) and learn everything you can from them!
You won’t regret it.
A significant lesson learned from a mentor
There are two very important words in the English language.
They are: I’m sorry.
I bet you didn’t see that coming.
Saying “I’m sorry” can be so incredibly powerful for you and incredibly powerful for the person that is receiving it.
These two words can be used for delivering an effective apology, a meaningful apology, a sincere apology, or an authentic apology.
It is one of the most powerful things that you can do.
As you know, my family is really important to me.
Apologize to those that matter the most
I’m not just talking about apologizing to someone at work or apologizing to the cashier clerk for being rude.
I’m talking about apologizing to the people that matter most to you in your life.
When you’ve, legitimately, done something to wrong them, you need to be legitimately and authentically sorry because these two things are what really make for a good apology.
My mentor specifically taught me that when you apologize, you have to mean it and never follow it with a “but” or “and”.
How to apologize in the most sincere way
You need to look the person in the eyes and say, “Hey, I’m sorry for what I did. I’ve had a chance to think about it. That wasn’t what I meant. It wasn’t how I wanted it to come off and it wasn’t my intention. I’m sorry.”
Here’s the thing, I’ve spent a lot of my life not giving effective apologies because for some reason I thought I had to be strong for my kids and family and, and be right all the time.
When I was wrong, maybe justifying my actions was even harder.
However, at this stage in my life, I realize that those people closest to us, those people that matter the most, those colleagues and friends at work, those kids that look at us every day, and the wife or husband that relies on us to do this thing called life together are who deserve an authentic and genuine apology.
Here’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned
If you’re listening out there and you struggle with making a proper apology as I did, or you think that it’s important for you to be right, to be strong.
I remember when I started taking accountability and responsibility for when I wronged my children and immediately sitting down with them and modeling what a proper apology looks like.
My children are now young adults and they look back at the moments when I was truly vulnerable.
Even though I might have felt weak inside myself in saying, “I’m sorry”, what they saw in me was strength.
They saw a man that was willing to take responsibility for his actions and was willing to step up and say, “I’m sorry”.
I modeled that for them.
Now they’re able to take that into their life, into their relationships, into their workplace, and hopefully into their relationship with their future kids.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry”, but say it authentically.
Say it when you mean it.
Get eye to eye with someone and don’t say it passively, but say it more often than not.
I promise you won’t be seen as weak.
You’ll be seen as incredibly strong and you’ll model that to the people that matter most in your life.