Mistakes are common and natural, it’s how we deal with them that makes the difference! Thankfully there is a solution, the apology. Knowing how and when to apologise is one of the keys of preserving a relationship. So how do we apologise?
Claim responsibility - Determine first how or if you were responsible for the situation.
Do it quickly - Make your apology as soon as you can after you have noticed your error (or had it pointed out to you). However, make sure you have taken the time to assess the situation.
Make it brief - There is rarely a need to go on for more than a couple of sentences. Apologies can be awkward for everyone.
Be specific - Be clear what went wrong, and state it in as certain terms as the situation allows.
Don’t under emphasise - If anything, slightly exaggerate the negative consequences of your error. Don’t sabotage your apology by failing to fully recognise the effect you had on others.
Ask for forgiveness - It takes two to apologise. Allow the other party an opportunity to return the gesture by accepting the apology.
Drop it and move on - Don’t dwell on the issue. Do this regardless of whether your apology was accepted or not.
Fix it - Follow up your apology by repairing any damage that was both a direct result of your actions.