People often judge us by the way we speak. Developing annoying speech mannerism makes distracted listeners not to value your comments or perceive the full scope of your expertise. Your personal brand is enhanced when you’re seen as someone who always seems to say the right thing.One way to being to speak more gracefully is to LISTEN carefully. Active Listening enables you:
- Pickup cues from the crowd and adopt the best tone.
- To enhance your sense of balance.
- To avoid the extremes of expressing too much or too little or coming off as too warm or too cold.
Tactfulness in speaking requires an awareness of the tremendous power of certain words. Some words have more consequences than others and should be used with care. One of the big impact word is “SORRY” and that is what I’ll be speaking more on.Sorry is typically defined to include emotions like Regrets, Sadness, and Penitence. But in practice, it can have many shades of meaning. So when someone say “I’m Sorry” in a work environment, we might be expressing anything from remorse to subservience, uncertainty or defiance.Here’s Beverly Jones take on how, when and whether to say “SORRY”
DON’T SAY “SORRY”
When you don’t mean it.
Saying “I’m Sorry” when you actually feel the opposite comes to the recipients like an insult. “Sorry” is a complex word and it can be inflammatory when your nonverbal message is the opposite of regret or your body language says otherwise. Saying “I’m Sorry” with a grimace or a roll of eyes make the situation worse.When you don’t feel at fault, avoid making a fake apology like “I’m Sorry but….”. Instead, Focus on improving the situation and say something positive such as “Let’s see what we can do to fix this.” Not all apologies improve matters. Your saying “I’m Sorry” is more likely perceived when you mean it.To soften an insult
If you say, “Sorry, but this draft is no good,” don’t you think your wording will make the message any easier to accept. If your remorse if genuine, make your regret clear and be direct in the way you deliver the rest of the message. You could better still say,“I’m truly sorry if this will ruin your weekend, but the client needs a number of changes in your draft”.When there’s nothing to apologize for.
Some people repeatedly say “Sorry” as a conscious way to express deference or humility and for some others, it may be an unconscious expression of uncertainty. Either way, constant apologies make you appear frightened or powerless. Many individuals have developed this verbal tic of saying “I’m Sorry” every time they’re about to ask a question or make a suggestion which constant and inappropriate use sounds offensive and annoying to others.
DO SAY “SORRY”
When you have done something wrong
When you screw up on the Job, the best plan is to confess immediately, apologize sincerely and turn quickly to rectifying the situation or making sure it won’t happen again. For the victim, apologizing can benefit you, giving you a chance to move on and restore the normal order.
Even if you weren’t to blame
Sometimes we say “I’m Sorry” not to express remorse but to show our compassion. This might happen when things go wrong in some way far beyond your control – such as when a horrible weather inconveniences your guests, or you may say “I’m Sorry” to acknowledge a personal loss, such as death in the family.According to Beverly Jones, some physiologist’s research suggests that this kind if superfluous apology can promote a sense of trust and connection between you and the listener and make everybody feel better.