We’re Not Always Superheroes

Spiderman Some days, you will mess up. Some days, your product won’t work, your executive team will say something silly, your financials won’t match the desires of Wall Street, maybe you personally will do something that you regret deeply. It actually does happen.

I make mistakes. You probably do, too. Or maybe you don’t, but I sure do.

If nothing else, apologize. Then try to learn. Then try not to repeat the mistakes.

Isn’t it strange? As humans, we know this. Don’t we? But as a business, are you ready to apologize? Can you just admit what you’ve done and try to move things to the next part?

I say sorry for something every single day. Sometimes, it’s something small. Other times, it’s something bigger. What about you?

Photo credit Eneas

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  • http://thoughtbythought.net/ Tresha Thorsen

    Think back…to kindergarten.
    How many times did ‘situations’ go to the teacher if you said I’m sorry to whomever you were playing with?
    How many times did the teacher come to whomever’s rescue when there were no apologies?
    Robert Fulgham’s All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten just came to mind as I read your post.
    Apologizing works.
    It builds a bridge and shows a level of humanity that ‘the other’(whether client, boss, friend, partner, whomever) may need to see, and I’d risk this: EVEN when your own ego knows you’re not wrong.
    But especially when you are, you betcha saying it enables you both to come to the next decision: do we care enough to move together forward.
    Relationships are journies that continue to the degree each party is willing to trust and go deeper. Apologies allow for vulnerabilities to be accepted and hearts to mend. They go a long way.
    It’s not so difficult if our investment in the other is truly for the long haul.
    Cool post. Thank ya much. :)

  • http://thoughtbythought.net/ Tresha Thorsen

    Think back…to kindergarten.
    How many times did ‘situations’ go to the teacher if you said I’m sorry to whomever you were playing with?
    How many times did the teacher come to whomever’s rescue when there were no apologies?
    Robert Fulgham’s All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten just came to mind as I read your post.
    Apologizing works.
    It builds a bridge and shows a level of humanity that ‘the other’(whether client, boss, friend, partner, whomever) may need to see, and I’d risk this: EVEN when your own ego knows you’re not wrong.
    But especially when you are, you betcha saying it enables you both to come to the next decision: do we care enough to move together forward.
    Relationships are journies that continue to the degree each party is willing to trust and go deeper. Apologies allow for vulnerabilities to be accepted and hearts to mend. They go a long way.
    It’s not so difficult if our investment in the other is truly for the long haul.
    Cool post. Thank ya much. :)

  • http://thoughtbythought.net Tre

    Think back…to kindergarten.
    How many times did ‘situations’ go to the teacher if you said I’m sorry to whomever you were playing with?
    How many times did the teacher come to whomever’s rescue when there were no apologies?
    Robert Fulgham’s All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten just came to mind as I read your post.
    Apologizing works.
    It builds a bridge and shows a level of humanity that ‘the other’(whether client, boss, friend, partner, whomever) may need to see, and I’d risk this: EVEN when your own ego knows you’re not wrong.
    But especially when you are, you betcha saying it enables you both to come to the next decision: do we care enough to move together forward.
    Relationships are journies that continue to the degree each party is willing to trust and go deeper. Apologies allow for vulnerabilities to be accepted and hearts to mend. They go a long way.
    It’s not so difficult if our investment in the other is truly for the long haul.
    Cool post. Thank ya much. :)

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    Chris,
    Personally, I feel that the apology is secondary to the action which you take as a direct response to the issue at fault. Whilst aggrieved customers need to have an apology following a service failure, it is the action which you then take that is of critical importance.

    Let’s not get too caught up in the words here, Chris. It is implementing appropriate action to guarantee as far as is possible that the problem will not reoccur in the future which will truly influence repeat customer purchase decisions. We are all human and we are all fallible. It is learning from these mistakes that allows us to grow and to develop.

    TLR

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    Chris,
    Personally, I feel that the apology is secondary to the action which you take as a direct response to the issue at fault. Whilst aggrieved customers need to have an apology following a service failure, it is the action which you then take that is of critical importance.

    Let’s not get too caught up in the words here, Chris. It is implementing appropriate action to guarantee as far as is possible that the problem will not reoccur in the future which will truly influence repeat customer purchase decisions. We are all human and we are all fallible. It is learning from these mistakes that allows us to grow and to develop.

    TLR

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    Chris,
    Personally, I feel that the apology is secondary to the action which you take as a direct response to the issue at fault. Whilst aggrieved customers need to have an apology following a service failure, it is the action which you then take that is of critical importance.

    Let’s not get too caught up in the words here, Chris. It is implementing appropriate action to guarantee as far as is possible that the problem will not reoccur in the future which will truly influence repeat customer purchase decisions. We are all human and we are all fallible. It is learning from these mistakes that allows us to grow and to develop.

    TLR

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    Chris,
    Personally, I feel that the apology is secondary to the action which you take as a direct response to the issue at fault. Whilst aggrieved customers need to have an apology following a service failure, it is the action which you then take that is of critical importance.

    Let’s not get too caught up in the words here, Chris. It is implementing appropriate action to guarantee as far as is possible that the problem will not reoccur in the future which will truly influence repeat customer purchase decisions. We are all human and we are all fallible. It is learning from these mistakes that allows us to grow and to develop.

    TLR

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    Chris,
    Personally, I feel that the apology is secondary to the action which you take as a direct response to the issue at fault. Whilst aggrieved customers need to have an apology following a service failure, it is the action which you then take that is of critical importance.

    Let’s not get too caught up in the words here, Chris. It is implementing appropriate action to guarantee as far as is possible that the problem will not reoccur in the future which will truly influence repeat customer purchase decisions. We are all human and we are all fallible. It is learning from these mistakes that allows us to grow and to develop.

    TLR

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

    If I make a mistake (and it happens. I mean hey, we’re only human right?!), I’m quick to apologize and offer a solution. “This is what I did wrong, and here’s how I’m going to fix it.”

    It was something I picked up from a client a long time ago. I made a mistake and she called me on it. She said something to the effect of: “Look Ricardo. It’s ok. If you did something wrong. Don’t worry about it. Just tell me what you’re going to do to fix it and we’re good. Deal?” I appreciated her for that. She stuck with me, and taught me something about managing situations. No issue is too big to deal with. Just step up, admit your mistake (we all make mistakes) and address how you’re going to rectify the situation.

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

    If I make a mistake (and it happens. I mean hey, we’re only human right?!), I’m quick to apologize and offer a solution. “This is what I did wrong, and here’s how I’m going to fix it.”

    It was something I picked up from a client a long time ago. I made a mistake and she called me on it. She said something to the effect of: “Look Ricardo. It’s ok. If you did something wrong. Don’t worry about it. Just tell me what you’re going to do to fix it and we’re good. Deal?” I appreciated her for that. She stuck with me, and taught me something about managing situations. No issue is too big to deal with. Just step up, admit your mistake (we all make mistakes) and address how you’re going to rectify the situation.

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

    If I make a mistake (and it happens. I mean hey, we’re only human right?!), I’m quick to apologize and offer a solution. “This is what I did wrong, and here’s how I’m going to fix it.”

    It was something I picked up from a client a long time ago. I made a mistake and she called me on it. She said something to the effect of: “Look Ricardo. It’s ok. If you did something wrong. Don’t worry about it. Just tell me what you’re going to do to fix it and we’re good. Deal?” I appreciated her for that. She stuck with me, and taught me something about managing situations. No issue is too big to deal with. Just step up, admit your mistake (we all make mistakes) and address how you’re going to rectify the situation.

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

    If I make a mistake (and it happens. I mean hey, we’re only human right?!), I’m quick to apologize and offer a solution. “This is what I did wrong, and here’s how I’m going to fix it.”

    It was something I picked up from a client a long time ago. I made a mistake and she called me on it. She said something to the effect of: “Look Ricardo. It’s ok. If you did something wrong. Don’t worry about it. Just tell me what you’re going to do to fix it and we’re good. Deal?” I appreciated her for that. She stuck with me, and taught me something about managing situations. No issue is too big to deal with. Just step up, admit your mistake (we all make mistakes) and address how you’re going to rectify the situation.

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

    If I make a mistake (and it happens. I mean hey, we’re only human right?!), I’m quick to apologize and offer a solution. “This is what I did wrong, and here’s how I’m going to fix it.”

    It was something I picked up from a client a long time ago. I made a mistake and she called me on it. She said something to the effect of: “Look Ricardo. It’s ok. If you did something wrong. Don’t worry about it. Just tell me what you’re going to do to fix it and we’re good. Deal?” I appreciated her for that. She stuck with me, and taught me something about managing situations. No issue is too big to deal with. Just step up, admit your mistake (we all make mistakes) and address how you’re going to rectify the situation.

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ricardo Bueno

    If I make a mistake (and it happens. I mean hey, we’re only human right?!), I’m quick to apologize and offer a solution. “This is what I did wrong, and here’s how I’m going to fix it.”

    It was something I picked up from a client a long time ago. I made a mistake and she called me on it. She said something to the effect of: “Look Ricardo. It’s ok. If you did something wrong. Don’t worry about it. Just tell me what you’re going to do to fix it and we’re good. Deal?” I appreciated her for that. She stuck with me, and taught me something about managing situations. No issue is too big to deal with. Just step up, admit your mistake (we all make mistakes) and address how you’re going to rectify the situation.

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    @Ricardo,
    It’s also important to demonstrate though that the action which you say that you intend to take has been. Implementation and subsequent demonstration highlights that you value them as a customer, and that you are sincere in your word. I fear many organisations are quick to apologize and ‘discuss’ a solution, but slow in the implementation thereof. Failure to adequately satisfy the customer following the discussion of their concerns will produce a more detrimental outcome than would have been the case if no attempt to address the issue had been made.

    TLR

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    @Ricardo,
    It’s also important to demonstrate though that the action which you say that you intend to take has been. Implementation and subsequent demonstration highlights that you value them as a customer, and that you are sincere in your word. I fear many organisations are quick to apologize and ‘discuss’ a solution, but slow in the implementation thereof. Failure to adequately satisfy the customer following the discussion of their concerns will produce a more detrimental outcome than would have been the case if no attempt to address the issue had been made.

    TLR

  • http://www.thelovablerogue.co.uk The Lovable Rogue

    @Ricardo,
    It’s also important to demonstrate though that the action which you say that you intend to take has been. Implementation and subsequent demonstration highlights that you value them as a customer, and that you are sincere in your word. I fear many organisations are quick to apologize and ‘discuss’ a solution, but slow in the implementation thereof. Failure to adequately satisfy the customer following the discussion of their concerns will produce a more detrimental outcome than would have been the case if no attempt to address the issue had been made.

    TLR

  • http://www.mr-motivator.co.nz/ Lisa Lomas

    In my experience if your honest and sincere this goes better with you. Its just one of those things, be real.

  • http://www.mr-motivator.co.nz/ Lisa Lomas

    In my experience if your honest and sincere this goes better with you. Its just one of those things, be real.

  • http://www.mr-motivator.co.nz/ Lisa Lomas

    In my experience if your honest and sincere this goes better with you. Its just one of those things, be real.

  • http://www.mr-motivator.co.nz/ Lisa Lomas

    In my experience if your honest and sincere this goes better with you. Its just one of those things, be real.

  • http://workalertz.com Matthew Ray

    Reading this post reminded me of the Baz Luhrmann song, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen”: http://blip.fm/~1mh4j

    Karma. You mean well, but you don’t always make the right decision for the business (or for life).

    When I make mistakes, I make it known to those I effected that I messed up and have learned a lesson out of it. I then try to fix it.

    Mistakes aren’t valuable if you don’t learn from it and don’t take action to fix it (if possible).

    Acknowledge that and move on.

  • http://workalertz.com Matthew Ray

    Reading this post reminded me of the Baz Luhrmann song, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen”: http://blip.fm/~1mh4j

    Karma. You mean well, but you don’t always make the right decision for the business (or for life).

    When I make mistakes, I make it known to those I effected that I messed up and have learned a lesson out of it. I then try to fix it.

    Mistakes aren’t valuable if you don’t learn from it and don’t take action to fix it (if possible).

    Acknowledge that and move on.

  • http://workalertz.com Matthew Ray

    Reading this post reminded me of the Baz Luhrmann song, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen”: http://blip.fm/~1mh4j

    Karma. You mean well, but you don’t always make the right decision for the business (or for life).

    When I make mistakes, I make it known to those I effected that I messed up and have learned a lesson out of it. I then try to fix it.

    Mistakes aren’t valuable if you don’t learn from it and don’t take action to fix it (if possible).

    Acknowledge that and move on.

  • http://workalertz.com Matthew Ray

    Reading this post reminded me of the Baz Luhrmann song, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen”: http://blip.fm/~1mh4j

    Karma. You mean well, but you don’t always make the right decision for the business (or for life).

    When I make mistakes, I make it known to those I effected that I messed up and have learned a lesson out of it. I then try to fix it.

    Mistakes aren’t valuable if you don’t learn from it and don’t take action to fix it (if possible).

    Acknowledge that and move on.

  • http://workalertz.com Matthew Ray

    Reading this post reminded me of the Baz Luhrmann song, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen”: http://blip.fm/~1mh4j

    Karma. You mean well, but you don’t always make the right decision for the business (or for life).

    When I make mistakes, I make it known to those I effected that I messed up and have learned a lesson out of it. I then try to fix it.

    Mistakes aren’t valuable if you don’t learn from it and don’t take action to fix it (if possible).

    Acknowledge that and move on.

  • http://simplysuperheroes.com Derek

    I hardly have a problem apologizing to a customer when I’m in the wrong. Arguing over who’s right or wrong over email or phone usually doesn’t work. Instead, I put on my humble cape and make an honest effort to right the wrong with the customer. And then the cool part comes: the customer puts on their humble cape too and is willing to work out a solution with me. So, to me, being a superhero can be a two-way street.

  • http://simplysuperheroes.com Derek

    I hardly have a problem apologizing to a customer when I’m in the wrong. Arguing over who’s right or wrong over email or phone usually doesn’t work. Instead, I put on my humble cape and make an honest effort to right the wrong with the customer. And then the cool part comes: the customer puts on their humble cape too and is willing to work out a solution with me. So, to me, being a superhero can be a two-way street.

  • http://simplysuperheroes.com Derek

    I hardly have a problem apologizing to a customer when I’m in the wrong. Arguing over who’s right or wrong over email or phone usually doesn’t work. Instead, I put on my humble cape and make an honest effort to right the wrong with the customer. And then the cool part comes: the customer puts on their humble cape too and is willing to work out a solution with me. So, to me, being a superhero can be a two-way street.

  • http://simplysuperheroes.com Derek

    I hardly have a problem apologizing to a customer when I’m in the wrong. Arguing over who’s right or wrong over email or phone usually doesn’t work. Instead, I put on my humble cape and make an honest effort to right the wrong with the customer. And then the cool part comes: the customer puts on their humble cape too and is willing to work out a solution with me. So, to me, being a superhero can be a two-way street.

  • http://simplysuperheroes.com Derek

    I hardly have a problem apologizing to a customer when I’m in the wrong. Arguing over who’s right or wrong over email or phone usually doesn’t work. Instead, I put on my humble cape and make an honest effort to right the wrong with the customer. And then the cool part comes: the customer puts on their humble cape too and is willing to work out a solution with me. So, to me, being a superhero can be a two-way street.

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    If you are not messing up- you ar e not making progress. And if you mess up- then simply say “My fault- I am sorry”- and move on. But I do not know one executive, worker, or entrepreneur that is making great gains- that doee not mess up. BUT- you must be willing to to mess up ocassionally to go up – and go beyond where you are now. Plus mistakes are free schooling- like them or not- but they can educate you very quickly. Mistakes are the driving force behind success education–bravo Chris!

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    If you are not messing up- you ar e not making progress. And if you mess up- then simply say “My fault- I am sorry”- and move on. But I do not know one executive, worker, or entrepreneur that is making great gains- that doee not mess up. BUT- you must be willing to to mess up ocassionally to go up – and go beyond where you are now. Plus mistakes are free schooling- like them or not- but they can educate you very quickly. Mistakes are the driving force behind success education–bravo Chris!

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    If you are not messing up- you ar e not making progress. And if you mess up- then simply say “My fault- I am sorry”- and move on. But I do not know one executive, worker, or entrepreneur that is making great gains- that doee not mess up. BUT- you must be willing to to mess up ocassionally to go up – and go beyond where you are now. Plus mistakes are free schooling- like them or not- but they can educate you very quickly. Mistakes are the driving force behind success education–bravo Chris!

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    If you are not messing up- you ar e not making progress. And if you mess up- then simply say “My fault- I am sorry”- and move on. But I do not know one executive, worker, or entrepreneur that is making great gains- that doee not mess up. BUT- you must be willing to to mess up ocassionally to go up – and go beyond where you are now. Plus mistakes are free schooling- like them or not- but they can educate you very quickly. Mistakes are the driving force behind success education–bravo Chris!

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    If you are not messing up- you ar e not making progress. And if you mess up- then simply say “My fault- I am sorry”- and move on. But I do not know one executive, worker, or entrepreneur that is making great gains- that doee not mess up. BUT- you must be willing to to mess up ocassionally to go up – and go beyond where you are now. Plus mistakes are free schooling- like them or not- but they can educate you very quickly. Mistakes are the driving force behind success education–bravo Chris!

  • http://www.iojuice.com Alfredo Nasti Jr

    I probably say I am sorry more in the last few years than the 42 before it. I think its a sign of humility and shows your charachter. I try not to make mistakes to avoid saying these words but nobody is infoulable. The key is to identify what went wrong and develop practical solutions.

  • http://www.iojuice.com Alfredo Nasti Jr

    I probably say I am sorry more in the last few years than the 42 before it. I think its a sign of humility and shows your charachter. I try not to make mistakes to avoid saying these words but nobody is infoulable. The key is to identify what went wrong and develop practical solutions.

  • http://www.iojuice.com Alfredo Nasti Jr

    I probably say I am sorry more in the last few years than the 42 before it. I think its a sign of humility and shows your charachter. I try not to make mistakes to avoid saying these words but nobody is infoulable. The key is to identify what went wrong and develop practical solutions.

  • http://www.iojuice.com Alfredo Nasti Jr

    I probably say I am sorry more in the last few years than the 42 before it. I think its a sign of humility and shows your charachter. I try not to make mistakes to avoid saying these words but nobody is infoulable. The key is to identify what went wrong and develop practical solutions.

  • http://turtlemover.wordpress.com Aline

    This is a very timely post – I discovered this morning that a business we partner with jumped the gun on an announcement and sent it out prematurely, leaving me and my organization with egg on our faces because it had not been approved and the appropriate Legal disclaimers had not been included. The person who made the mistake promptly called, apologized, and suggested how he might fix the situation. I was impressed with his attitude, his apology, and the way he took responsibility for what happened. This person has risen in my estimation despite the mistake.

  • http://turtlemover.wordpress.com Aline

    This is a very timely post – I discovered this morning that a business we partner with jumped the gun on an announcement and sent it out prematurely, leaving me and my organization with egg on our faces because it had not been approved and the appropriate Legal disclaimers had not been included. The person who made the mistake promptly called, apologized, and suggested how he might fix the situation. I was impressed with his attitude, his apology, and the way he took responsibility for what happened. This person has risen in my estimation despite the mistake.

  • http://beth.typepad.com Beth Kanter

    Mistakes are the best teachers

  • http://beth.typepad.com Beth Kanter

    Mistakes are the best teachers

  • http://beth.typepad.com Beth Kanter

    Mistakes are the best teachers

  • http://beth.typepad.com Beth Kanter

    Mistakes are the best teachers

  • http://beth.typepad.com Beth Kanter

    Mistakes are the best teachers

  • http://stevenbuehler.info swbuehler

    The sad part is that sometimes those “mistakes” cost us a customer or (in my case), a job.

  • http://thesacredproject.info Steven Buehler

    The sad part is that sometimes those “mistakes” cost us a customer or (in my case), a job.

  • http://www.thevirtualinch.ca Carrie

    I do my best, but sometimes errors happen – I make a sincere apology, try to make things right and move on. If I lose the client, it is out of my control – life is too short to hang on to things out of one’s control.