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I Was Wrong. No apologies needed.

business communication Nov 17, 2022

There is a difference between saying "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry." Both are important, but you don't necessarily need to apologize if you guessed wrong or your educated guess didn't pan out.

I was completely wrong about how the Seahawks game in Germany would play out. It gave me the perfect opportunity to practice useful communication skill in business. 

As I mentioned in the video there are times an apology is necessary, but I've seen far too many people (especially women I've worked with) default to "I'm sorry." Here's what happens when you do that: you take on unnecessary blame and criticism, add pressure on yourself and send a message that you're responsible for any and all failures. That's just not true and it doesn't position you well for future opportunities. 

Here's where sports can help us differentiate between "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry." It starts with the question "Who do you think will win the game?" The answer is a best guess and fans get it wrong all the time.

Many fans guessed the Philadelphia Phillies would win the World Series. They were wrong. The Houston Astros ended up winning. Most NFL fans would have guessed the Philadelphia Eagles would continue their unbeaten season by beating the Washington Commanders Monday night. They were wrong. The Commanders pulled off an upset. 

It's ridiculous to think of a fan apologizing for the outcome of a game they themselves didn't suit up and play in. The same is true in my role as a sports broadcaster. I do hours of research and interviews leading up to every Seahawks game. I feel confident in taking an educated guess as to how the game will play out. When I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I'm not sorry.  

Everyone gets it wrong sometimes even after evaluating all the data and considering all the factors. Get comfortable sitting in that space during sports conversations and it's easier to do the same in business conversations. 

I've started a new video series on YouTube to help identify more of these communication skills hidden in sports conversations. You can subscribe and get early looks at new projects I'll be releasing the coming months. 


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