Effective Apologies

Have you ever wondered how best to say you’re sorry after making a big mistake? Researchers at Ohio State & Eastern Kentucky University’s may have the answer. They determined that there are 6 elements that make up an effective apology. Participants in the study ranked the first two elements ‑- acknowledging you made a mistake and offering to fix it — the highest. Apologies containing these two elements were seen as most effective, credible and adequate.

There was a 3-way tie among the next three elements – which were expressing regret, explaining what went wrong and declaring repentance.

Roy Lewicki, the study’s lead author, said the final element – asking for forgiveness – was of least importance to both groups of people who were studied.

The next time you’re looking for ways to say you’re sorry, remember, it’s most important to admit your mistake and commit to fixing it.

Leadership Readiness Test

Do you ever wish you had a simple test to determine if you or someone on your team is ready to step into a leadership role? Mindtools.com provides such a test. It assesses the most important determinant of good leadership — the desire to lead. What makes a good employee does not predict whether a person is ready or able to lead.

The Leadership Motivation Assessment tool measures a person’s innate ability to inspire and motivate others by having them rank responses to statements like, “I’m energized when people count on me for ideas.” And “When involved in group projects, it is important to me to help the team stick together.”

Good leaders focus on the success of the team rather than their own individual achievement. Not everyone who wants to lead understands what it takes to be the kind of person others will follow. This brief test could shed some light on readiness and fit.


Make Time For Your Team

As a leader, your team relies on you for more than just top down communication and work assignments. Good leaders make time for their team. Time to provide feedback, offer clarification, or to just remind them that they’re valued.

For some leaders, making time for their team might feel unproductive or like they’re wasting precious moments better used to check off their to-do list. But, the leaders of high functioning teams are regularly visible and accessible.

To boost your visibility and impact, block out time to manage by walking around. This allows for organic, one-on-one or small group discussions that can’t happen in formal meetings. Train yourself to listen actively during these walk-abouts, and resist the temptation to problem-solve. Instead, support employees in arriving at their own solutions. Find at least one person to thank or praise. Your presence and visibility can generate positive feelings.

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