We seem to be in the midst of an epidemic. As I stood in line at a local café this morning, a barista lovingly poured milk into an espresso for the woman ahead of me.
When he went to hand it across the counter she said, “I’m so sorry for all the change!” as though the register wouldn’t be able to hold the $4.00 in twenty cent pieces. He responded with a smile and a “that’s OK,” but, like her apology, his validation wasn’t necessary.
It seems that every day we encounter over-apologisers: people guilty of saying ‘sorry’ out of reflex rather than for any real reason.
But if you’re guilty of being a serial sorry-er, don’t be surprised if it’s hurting your brand.
Your personal brand is everything that people come to think of when they think about ‘you’. And whether you like it or not, it isn’t just limited to whether you wore a nice outfit that day. How you look, sound and present yourself go a long way to influencing how others perceive you.
Your personal brand is like an opera: you wear beautiful costumes that complement your character, have an incredible soprano voice that reaches far and wide, and you move flawlessly about the stage.
But wait! What’s that?! A loud flat French horn in the orchestra pit?!
Well, that’s the ‘S’ word and its killing the show!
While it seems to have become a conditioned response for many who’ve grown up being told to be polite at all costs, over-apologising doesn’t come across that way to others.
Not only can it make you seem like you have problems dealing with conflict or responsibility – two things that are inevitably going to show up sooner or later and your clients need to know you’re not a flake! – It can also reveal that you hold others’ opinions to a much higher standard than your own. Which isn’t good when you want people to come to YOU for direction!
Over-apologising can also demonstrate poor confidence, which is a big fat no deal!
So, how do you know if you’re a serial sorry-er?
Next time you think about including it in a sentence, pause a sec to think if you’ve actually done anything wrong (not likely), if you can reword your sentence to show confidence (likely), and if a BOSS was doing what you were doing, would they say it (SO not likely)?
Like any habit, it can be broken.
And like any BAD BRAND habit, it NEEDS to be broken.
Now it’s your turn #bossbabe, are you a serial sorry-er? Leave me a comment below if this is something you know you need to work on!
Thankyou to the beautiful Joy Woods for the gorgeous pics!
And a huge thankyou to the stunning Punthill Apartments in Melbourne for hosting me in their Northbank hotel – seriously check out this view!
I was totally #notsorry waking up to this Melbourne City skyline each day: