“I’m sorry” can heal wounds and open communication.
“I’m sorry” can change a moment.
“I’m sorry” can change how we are perceived in ways we don’t intend.
I was at a conference recently where one of the main speakers began his presentation by apologizing for himself. After thanking the audience for inviting him, he said “I’m sorry you have to sit and listen to me. I’m the boring business guy.”
He was invited to speak to this audience of 300 because he is an expert in his field and the audience needed his information. Yet, he continued to apologize for being the boring business guy throughout his talk. He even said his work wasn’t as important as the work of the audience members.
He threw himself under the bus by apologizing for himself.
I imagine he was a little nervous. Maybe his nervousness made him feel like he wasn’t that important. Maybe he told himself that story – that he wasn’t as important as the people in the audience. Maybe he believes it.
But, the reality is that he was invited to present because the audience considers him an expert in his field – a leader. They expect him to “own” his expertise. By apologizing for who he is, he told the audience he wasn’t the expert and that his information wasn’t that important. And, he he told them he is boring!
He gave his power away by apologizing for himself.
Words are powerful. Sometimes they slip out and leave an impact that we don’t intend.
People look up to you and pay close attention to your words and actions. You set the tone. As audience members, we believe what we are told. That day, we were told he’s the boring business guy.
Reframing a message allows us to keep our power.
Instead of throwing himself under the bus, he could have said “Today, I am going to share information that will make your work easier.” Who doesn’t want to hear how their work can be easier?
In reality, the audience wants to hear from an expert.
By reframing our messages, we keep our power. We don’t throw ourselves under the bus.
Do you give your power away?
I would love to learn from you. Please leave a comment and share a story of how you have given your power away. Tell me how you would reframe your message.
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