How to stop being “sorry” at work and turn it into a positive

OFFICE LIFE – “Pardon”, “sorry”, “excuse me” … Forms of politeness that are familiar to us and that we use daily, whether at work or in our private lives. What if we replaced the “sorry” with “thank you”?

This is the idea proposed by Pascaline Van Rossem, consultant in management of organizations, in one of her Linkedin posts. In a month, its publication has been loved over 7,000 times and has elicited strong reactions. “If you want to say thank you, don’t say sorry”: a line of thought inspired by Chinese illustrator Yao Xiao, who portrays it in one of her comics. This concept is applicable and applied by many people in the business world. No longer constantly apologizing and focusing on the positive, it is therefore possible.

“Qui s’excuse, s’accuse”

The origin of the excuse would come from childhood. This is the theory of Maxime Coignard, author of the book “The 7 laws of change” and professional coach, contacted by The HuffPost. “The child wants to be perfect in the eyes of his parents and therefore unconsciously puts himself in a position of inferiority by justifying and apologizing”. A habit that can last until adulthood and which, eventually, can be harmful at work. “Some people use the permanent excuse, which gives the interlocutor in a disproportionate way. It’s a danger, ”he concludes.

The misuse of these formulations puts the person in a position of guilty, “who apologizes, accuses himself”, which has a negative influence on his “leadership” and his credibility within the company. “When a person apologizes too much, he is oriented towards the past and not towards the future”. The solution to this? Give preference to thanks.

Table inspired by the comic book by Yao Xiao and produced by Pascaline Van Rossem.

A concept to be qualified

A notion to be taken with a grain of salt, of course. Limiting excuses does not mean banning them. You just have to find a happy medium, a balance. Pascaline Van Rossem insist on it. “For example, when you are late for a meeting, it is advisable to say: I apologize for the delay and thank you for waiting for me”, she stressed to the HuffPost. By means of a positive sentence, thank you in this case, the speaker values ​​the person in front of him and puts himself in an active position. “Thank you” would therefore be a way of limiting the excuses or, at least, of using them better.

On the other hand, if the thank you is used as a springboard for a reproach, “Thank you for your work, on the other hand, you are still not on time”, the interlocutor will only retain the negative. Hence the importance of this balance. “These days we are too often in negative communication”. Pascaline refers to the quote from the American psychologist, Marshall Rosenberg: “Words are windows, or they are walls. They condemn us or set us free ”. Using the right tone, using the right wording and showing sincerity would therefore be the keys to added value in professional relations.

Thank you, but not only

Changing bad habits takes time. Before turning to positive communication and putting Yao Xiao’s theory into practice, one needs, first of all, awareness. According to Maxime Coignard, the people concerned must, first of all, realize that they are excusing themselves excessively and then find a memo-technical means when it occurs and, ultimately, combine it with a thank you. .

However, “thank you” doesn’t always have its place, just like “sorry”, explains Pascaline Van Rossem. Listening within the company is not to be neglected. “We ask questions to listen, we listen to understand, we understand in order to respond and afterwards, we provide a solution in line with the needs and expectations,” she advises. Getting to know the person and showing interest in who they are and what they do would be the first step in promoting well-being at work.

“Leaders are often those who speak the least and listen the most,” adds Maxime Coignard. Active listening, moderate apologies and positive communication would be the keys to success, according to these two professionals. No doubt your colleagues will thank you for it.

See also on The HuffPost: On YouTube, this job seeker created a quirky and hilarious CV

Source: Le Huffington Post by

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