As we wrap up the Work Faux Pas series, I take you to a defining moment in my work life.
A moment that, at the time, was painful and upsetting to say the least.
But a moment that, as I look back on it now, shaped a molded me into who I am today.
Let’s finish off with —
The apology work faux pas.
After spending a year and a half in one position at work, I was promoted to a leadership role within the same company.
Friends, I will tell you that I was excited to be moving up and having some added responsibility! Although I’d never been in a leadership position before, I was confident that it would be something I could handle.
Before we go any further, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something. Growing up, I was always known for being sassy, having an attitude, and on many occasions, being called bossy. All the makings of a great leader, right?!
On a Monday, I had officially accepted this new role. Four days later, on a Thursday, I had my first, real chance to show leadership. In which I failed spectacularly.
To make a long story short, I mistook being a leader with that of being bossy. It was my way or the highway, and Lord help you if you chose the highway.
To say the least, it wasn’t my finest hour. And I knew it.
So a little while after this cringe-worthy faux pas, I knew I couldn’t let my words and actions hang in the air any longer.
So I apologized. It was a heartfelt, sincere, ‘hey guys, I screwed this up’ apology. I didn’t want to be that type of leader.
Though my apology was accepted by some, that could not be said of all. This is not a statement of speculation, but of complete assurance, as I received some less than flattering ‘feedback’ soon thereafter.
Let’s put it this way. An accidental voice text was sent calling me outside of my name. I trust you can piece together what that means.
So why was this moment so defining?
Well, you should know that I was livid, hurt, disgusted and upset all wrapped into one. I had apologized and it was spitefully thrown back in my face.
But after tears had been cried and some time had passed, I was given some wise words that are with me to this day.
Now, don’t read that as “don’t apologize, even if you’re wrong.”
Instead, it was put to me this way:
Catch yourself before saying, or doing, something that will require an apology.
Pick and choose your battles.
Think it through. And if there’s time, think it through again.
Learn from the mistake. Don’t make it again. Move on.
My ‘L’? Mistaking bossiness for leadership.
My Lesson? Learn from it. Move on.
I hope you have enjoyed this work faux pas series! Share some of your most cringe-worthy, embarrassing, oh-wow-did-she-really-just-say-that faux pas below!