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Sorry/Not Sorry!

Jan 24, 2022

An excerpt from Speak Up, Sister! The Professional Woman’s Guide to Confidence and Success

Chapter 11 - Sorry/Not Sorry!

I’m Sorry Alternatives

With strategically chosen words, you can re-direct what initially may have elicited

an apology into a simple acknowledgment instead. You may even wind up driving

an opportunity for improvement.

Here are some common phrases that tend to elicit submissive language in the

form of apologies.

• You’re late.

• Your performance wasn’t what I expected.

• I found mistakes in the project you submitted.

• You missed the point of the exercise.

Now, instead of responding with I’m sorry, possibly followed by effusive word

salad (the kind you can visualize accumulating all around when you wish it

would just evaporate), give these succinct, suitable alternatives a test drive:

• Thank you for waiting for me.

• Thank you for pointing that out.

• I’ll get right on it.

• I see your point.

• That’s a good point. I’ll consider an adjustment after I review the

numbers. (A personal favorite.)

• Let me try again.

• Oh, good to know! I’ll give it another go.

• I agree. I’ll make a correction.

• That’s interesting.

• Tell me more.

• I hear you.

These are perfectly acceptable responses, legitimate options, and ways to ditch the old I’m sorry to preserve professionalism and ownership instead.

Sounds like a good demonstration of leadership to me!

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Originally published Nov 8, 2020 

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