Career Misfire: You’ve Said Things You Now Regret

Sections of this topic

    I’ve had a disagreement with a coworker. In the heat of the moment, I said things that I wish I hadn’t. How do I remedy the situationruffled feathers?

    We have all said things we later regretted. That’s human. The important thing is to remedy the situation immediately. Here’s what you can do in a communication or career misfire.

    First, apologize as soon as possible. If you wait too long, there’s time for bad feelings to fester. Say something like:

    “I’m sorry for what I said yesterday. That’s not how I’m feeling towards you. I was just letting this issue get to me.”

    Be sincere but concise. Some people, who find themselves in uncomfortable situations, tend to blabber on. This is a time to say what you have to say and then concentrate on listening to the person’s response.

    Most of the time, he or she will say: “Forget about it or it’s ok”.

    You then can say: “Thank you, I appreciate that.”

    If your sincere apology doesn’t seem to be sufficient, find out what would help the situation.

    Just ask: “How can we move beyond this?” Or, “What can I do to get us working together again.”

    Again listen intently. If you can agree to the solution, then do what needs to be done. If there’s still a problem, then work hard to find a way to make it right. As a last resort, you may want to bring in your boss to resolve the issue.

    Career Success Tip:

    Learn from the experience. The next time you’re discussing a volatile issue, take a breath – or two or three – before you speak. If that doesn’t work, remove yourself from the situation until you can think logically instead of emotionally. And learn to be more forgiving of those who commit the same error.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?