It happens with such regularity now. It has become so routine. Too many days too late, the C-suite mea culpa is finally scripted, staged and synched to render the least collateral damage to the company. Somewhere buried in that sanitized statement will be the two words that most of us in America wait to hear---"I apologize"---even if it is said halfheartedly.
Even though most of us probably don't believe it. We still want to hear it.
Maybe it's because there was actually a time in business when spin was sin, your word was your bond, humility was a virtue, and honesty was the best policy. There was also a best practice at work called "owning up." Regarding the latter, consider the short list at the end of this article as a reminder of that less jaded era in the work culture. When we offered and accepted simple and straightforward apologies.
It is not an exhaustive list. For those familiar with this era, and who remember this best practice, you can certainly add to and augment the aide-memoire. The list is also introductory in nature. It does not include the appropriate "owning up" for more egregious transgressions at work or, heaven help us, mortal sins committed on the job. We'll leave that to the HR, ethics and legal experts to handle.
Should you put this introductory list into practice, be forewarned. As with all owning up, there are still consequences to steward beyond uttering the suggested phrases below. There will be some cleaning up to do. Making amends. Correcting the wrong. Changing behaviors.
Owning up at work, with all sincerity and seriousness of heart, puts you on the fast track to building personal moral character. Additionally, you may actually enhance your career development in the process. Boost the morale of co-workers. Radically upgrade the business culture. Add significant value to your company's brand.
And, perhaps, even make America believe again.
Now. Here's the list of "21 Ways To Own Up At Work"...
I blew it.
I wasn't paying attention.
I dropped the ball.
I was inconsiderate.
I jumped to a conclusion.
I made the mistake.
I spoke too soon.
I missed the deadline.
I didn't return the phone call.
I wasn't concentrating.
I lost the document.
I didn't put the date on my calendar.
I wasn't listening.
I made the wrong decision.
I didn't follow up.
I didn't follow through.
I didn't know what I was talking about.
Please forgive me.
Follow @JoeMazzu3 on Twitter and Instagram. Visit intentionalconsulting.com to learn more about his business serving nonprofits.