Think Tank Thursday: No Substitute for a Sincere Apology

Zig Ziglar was a master motivator and salesperson whose legacy continues today, with a vast amount of resources available for people who want to learn how to be better managers, better salespersons or, simply better people. The following is from Ziglar.com.

“A few years ago a unique service was available in Fort Worth, Texas, entitled ‘An Apology Service.’  The founder and creator of the service was Ms. Kathy Warman. For just $6.00, Ms. Warman would pick up the phone and with her Southern charm and accent, offer an apology to the person you might have offended.

Unfortunately, there is no question that such a service is needed, but isn’t it tragic that there is a need to have someone else apologize for you? Whatever happened to personal responsibility? It is inconceivable that anyone would be unwilling or unable to call and apologize for having offended a client, customer, friend or relative. And regardless of how effective Ms. Warman might have been, there is a major difference in doing it yourself vs. hiring someone else to do it for you.

In most cases, the offended person is partially placated by the professional apologizer, but surely he or she would wonder why the offender didn’t pick up the telephone and offer the apology personally. First, an apology is almost always accepted. Second, it indicates that you are now thinking straight, recognize your mistake, want to rectify it and put the relationship on a friendlier basis. Third, and perhaps most important, the benefit you receive from apologizing personally is dramatically increased. It means you have accepted your responsibility, faced up to a difficult assignment, gone through the process, survived and even thrived as a result. Difficult? Yes, but a tremendous learning and growth experience.

Historically speaking, those who do the difficult things end up doing the easy things more effectively. Remember, an apology is often politeness too late. So, think about it. The next time you've offended someone and need to apologize, do it yourself. You will have more and better friends, more and better clients and customers, and a better self-image as a result. Take this action and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!”

Zig Ziglar is known as America’s Motivator. He authored 36 books and produced numerous life-changing programs. He will be remembered as a man who lived out his faith daily.