My granddaughter is one of those 6 year olds that is head strong, and hasn’t yet realised that the world does not revolve around her. With any parent or Grandparent comes the moment when a child tests if they really have to do what they are told to do.
Leaving aside the details Mum eventually laid down the law an said you MUST apologise to grandad. Clearly a head strong 6 year old was not going to like this. I didn’t like it because what I could see was a Tactical apology. An acknowledgement that this time she had lost the battle, I suspected that I would eventually loose the war of wills, as kids have a lot more energy to put into a battle of wills than an adult. Not what I wanted, I wanted a Granddaughter that did what I said because she had faith that what I said was right.
What to do?. Here’s what I did: As she came reluctantly up to me, choking on those hated words of apology I said “You don’t have to apologise to me, unless you want to.” The look of surprise was priceless, I repeated, “I only want to apologise if you want to” . We went on to normal things, like getting ready for school. Later a very quiet apology was whispered in my ear. We have got on fabulously since.
The point to this example is we must be free to apologise of our own undertaking. If the apology is to work is releasing the built up tension. If my granddaughter had been forced to apologise she would have ben resentful, and nothing would have been resolved. By allowing her to choose she did what she felt right, and felt good about it. For me , I didn’t need an apology, I needed respect and trust, which I couldn’t force on her.
As a business owner, and then business coach the most important business lesson I have learnt is that all the systems in the world, all the generous schemes people offer are worthless if your people aren’t on side. Forcing an apology makes the employee feel cornered and resolves nothing. For an apology to work they must be truly regretful, other wise its lying to get out of trouble. They then resent you and the person they hurt in the first place. Look deeper before moving to the defense of some one who has been wronged. Look for the patterns of behavior, and address these, this way the apology is the outcome , not the focal point.
Business Coach Bendigo