Bosses Have Difficulty Saying 'I Am Sorry'

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 12-17-2013 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Seldom Heard
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    Seldom Heard

    One-half of workers say their boss "rarely" or "never" apologizes.
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    Peter Principle

    51% of bosses say they are sometimes reluctant to apologize because they don't want to look incompetent.
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    The Fredo Syndrome

    18% say they don't apologize in order to avoid looking weak.
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    Unexercised Options

    18% say apologies may not be necessary.
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    "It's Good to be the King!"

    7% rationalize by telling themselves, "I'm the boss. I shouldn't have to."
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    Diminishing Returns

    91% of employees say it's highly important to have a boss whom they can trust. Sadly, one-third say they trust their manager less than they used to.
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    How to Gain Trust: Say the Magic Word!

    A well stated and sincere apology will help you build—not lose—respect among employees.
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    When you really listen to employees—with engaged eye contact, while not attempting to take control of the conversation—they'll feel less guarded about sharing valuable info with you.
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    When you make good on any stated intentions, your accountability rating goes through the roof.
 

As the classic Elton John song put it, " 'Sorry' seems to be the hardest word …" At least that appears to be the case in the workplace as CIOs and other bosses are frequently reluctant to offer an honest, direct apology, according to a recent leadership survey released by The Forum Corporation. Managers find all kinds of excuses to avoid admitting their failings. Or they fall into the trappings of arrogance and dismiss such a gesture as something that bosses don't have to do. But that is a mistake because you'll risk losing the trust that you've established with your employees. "When managers aren't transparent in their actions—and that includes accepting responsibility for errors, being truthful with their employees and acknowledging hard work—that tends to breed mistrust among employees," says Andrew Graham, CEO of The Forum Corporation. "Employees who register low levels of trust at work are also the most likely group to report low engagement." Obviously, no CIO wants that, which is why The Forum Corporation has also included the following best practices for building trust. Nearly 955 workers and bosses took part in the research. For more about the survey, click here.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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