Toby Knapp

Toby Knapp

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#WORK: Stop saying "I'm SORRY at work!" It can and does BACKFIRE on you!

SAYING I'M SORRY for things you do wrong at work?

STOP.

For many people, saying “I’m sorry” after certain situations, even those that don’t require an apology, is second nature. But over-apologizing can backfire, especially in the workplace: It can make others think less of you, lower your self-esteem, and water down the impact of future apologies.

According to Patrice Williams Lindo, CEO of Career Nomad, a career consulting firm, says the habit can come from a place of insecurity, and it can be especially common among women and people of color. Lindo explains that the need to over-apologize is born from a pattern of self-doubt — and recognizing situations when you should and shouldn’t say “I’m sorry” is one of the first steps to finding better phrases to use instead.

For example, hybrid and remote work gained popularity in the last few years, causing people to use their electronic devices more than ever. Unfortunately, no matter how tech-savvy you are, technical difficulties will occur. And they usually aren’t your fault. If there’s a tech glitch, “I’m sorry” is often a phrase that people use when they need to fill space.

Instead of apologizing for things that are out of your control, use phrases like, “I appreciate your patience” and “Thank you for working with me,” to overcome any awkwardness and reinstate an air of confidence.

TL;DR: You're not SORRY. I'm not SORRY. I appreciate your patience and thanks for working with me!


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