Leadership Solutions: Transforming Workplace Dialogue for Growth

While it is important to own your mistakes and shortcomings, especially in leadership, it’s also important to get into the habit of structuring what you are saying in a way that allows for growth to be made instead. This is a great way to teach other people how to respond when they are in the same situation or position as well. 

Here are some examples of shifting I’m sorry to taking ownership of the situation:

  1. “Thanks for flagging!” This shows that you realize the situation is important, and you also appreciate that they brought attention to it. It acknowledges the role both individuals play instead of putting the responsibility on one person.
  2. “Good catch – I will make the updates/changes.” This shows that you realize changes need to be made and you will put into action fixing those changes. Sorry communicates ownership, but responding this way communicates that you are going to swiftly change what is needed.
  3. “Many thanks for noticing the error; we will _____.” This allows, again, for an action to be spoken into the situation instead of just a response.

While this is a small step in changing the way you dialogue in the workplace, intentionally trying to make your dialogue be active instead of passive will help speak action into existence. This is especially true in a world where digital communication is open to misinterpretation. Taking the time to speak action into a situation instead of just “I’m sorry,” not only communicates ownership, but it allows you to demonstrate how you are going to correct it in the future. Others will likely respect you more because of it!