Refusing To Express Regret

To continue with my comments on the book by Marshall
Goldsmith, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” this
week I will be discussing the habit of: Refusing To
Express Regret.

Over the years, I have coached about a dozen managers who
had severely strained relationships with peers or
subordinates.  In just about every case, the person knew
exactly what caused the problem and was fully aware of the
actions that perpetuated the issue.

My coaching experience is similar to that of Goldsmith’s
in that in order for these individuals to improve in their
business lives they needed to reconcile with the past. 
That reconciliation required the manager to express some
form of regret or an apology as a way to break with that
past incidents and move on.

HR CONTRARIAN POINTER:  When one person can muster up the
courage to sincerely express regret for a comment, an
action, an email, an oversight, or whatever, it will
usually change a relationship, and sometimes an entire
organization, for the better.

I’m sure there are some cold-hearted individuals out there
who refuse to be reconciled no matter how another person
expresses regret.  But, in my experience, the sincere
apology has worked every time to dramatically change a

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