An apology is hard to do, but when you work in a professional capacity, you sometimes have to. However, what sets a perfect apology apart from a mediocre one is the ability to learn from your mistakes and make it clear that you’re going to put in the necessary amount of effort required to ensure that the same error doesn’t happen again.
In an apology email, which can be easily forwarded around and documented for future reference for both your receiving party and anyone else who may need to know about this sort of situation in the future (such as other employees), here’s how you go about professional apology email:
Be specific with what happened
Don’t just apologize vaguely because it could lead people to think something happened that didn’t or vice versa.
For example, if someone made a joke that you took the wrong way and misconstrued something different than what it was meant to be, that’s immediately where the formal apology email should be directed because this is where things went wrong.
Of course, it could have happened by accident or on purpose, but either way, apologizing for said actions will at least show that you acknowledge what happened even if you don’t plan on letting it happen again.
Give details about why you did what you did
It would help if you let your receiver know why you reacted in such a manner so they can understand how things got out of hand enough to lead to the original problem occurring.
For example, if your significant other cheated on you with their co-worker, then the next day you were so angry and hurt that you lost it and yelled at them for hours, you should explain what the co-worker did to lead your significant other to cheat. Chances are they’ll be more understanding if they know exactly why things happened as such rather than just saying “I cheated” or “he/she cheated.”
Don’t shift responsibility to someone else.
You can’t make another person take the blame for whatever happened; this will only shift your problem elsewhere instead of helping resolve matters by apologizing for it yourself.
For example, if a project went badly because your co-workers didn’t do anything but still passed it off as their job and said it was all their fault, then by explaining what happened calmly, you give your co-worker a chance to apologize or at least speak up for themselves.
If they don’t, then it’s obvious what’s going on, and you can move forward with anything else involving the project instead of having two people have the same problem that could have been fixed had one apologized in the first place.
Be sure that you’re sorry
Don’t just say something like “sorry” because there’s nothing specific about it, and it doesn’t show enough remorse for whatever happened.
For example, suppose someone punched another person unexpectedly out on the streets. In that case, all they need to say is “I’m sorry I hit you” without any excuse as to why they did it unless it was a legitimate self-defense situation.
This is because you can’t justify your actions when apologizing, so it’s best to be straightforward about the whole thing without further explanation than what’s needed to convey precisely what happened in this situation.
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Don’t forget to apologize for yourself
If you’re responsible for something that went wrong, then it only makes sense that you take full responsibility for that error instead of placing all of it on someone else or even making excuses as to why you did what you did.
For example, if a family member was feeling sick and asked you to pick up their medication before work but got caught in traffic and ended up being late anyway, don’t apologize by saying, “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it there on time” because who’s to say you couldn’t see when nothing was stopping you from leaving when it came to traffic? Instead, apologize by saying, “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get there on time even though I tried,” so they know it’s your fault and not something else.
Don’t beat around the bush
Avoid making excuses for your actions because chances are this will only stress out whoever you’re apologizing to and won’t solve anything, make an actual apology.
For example, if a manager asks where the money went after an event, then don’t tell them that someone must have taken it because of something like not putting everything back in their place because these things could happen at any time and aren’t strong enough reasons as to why the money isn’t there anymore. Instead, apologize and say, “I’m sorry the money is gone,” to show that it’s your fault and not something else.
How to write a business apology email?
Using the above guidelines to craft your apology message gives you a much better chance of resolving whatever problem has occurred without any future issues arising because of your poor communication skills. However, suppose you’re writing a business apology email. In that case, it’s important to remember to avoid blaming anyone else or even trying to explain away what happened because this will only make things more complicated than they need to be.
For example, suppose you made a mistake when doing accounts and cost the company $5,000 in revenue. In that case, apologizing by saying “I’m sorry I messed up” is unprofessional and unlikely to resolve the issue. So instead, take responsibility for your actions and apologize by saying, “I’m sorry I lost us $5,000 in revenue” because this shows that you know what the problem was and may help convince whoever is running the company not to think of you as a liability.
Simple mistakes usually require simpler sincerest apologies, but if there’s anything more complicated going on, then it’s best to write an email outlining exactly what went wrong, how you’re going to avoid it happening again, and why whatever happened should never have occurred in the first place.
This will show that you understand your same mistake and are confident enough to take responsibility for it without trying to shift blame onto something else or even trying to defend yourself because if they want accountability, then that’s what they’ll get with your good apology email.
If extenuating circumstances were surrounding whatever happened, then include these details after you’ve explained exactly what you’re apologizing for so they know that being sorry doesn’t always mean understanding why it happened.
Don’t be afraid to ask what went wrong
People often forget when writing a good apology email to ask what happened, which not only shows them that you care but also respects whoever it is enough to let them tell you in their own words instead of making assumptions as to why whatever went wrong did happen.
For example, if a student fails a test and asks what happened by saying, “I didn’t do very well on the test, could you tell me more about what I did wrong?” then this shows that they understand they failed and are interested in looking at ways to improve rather than simply thinking they’re perfect and not in need of any more help.
If you’re unsure how to phrase your business apology letter, then this is where a template can come in handy because it takes out the guesswork and makes it easier for you to start writing even if there are still some things that aren’t clicking yet.
This way, you make sure that whatever issues have happened get fixed with minimal complications from poor communication on your part and can move forward knowing all will be well because an apology email has been sent out to end the issue once and for all.
Apologizing isn’t limited to situations where someone gets hurt; there are many other ways you can screw up, so it should be a habit to apologize for anything that goes wrong sincerely. This way, people will know that you’re genuinely remorseful about what happened, and everything will run much more smoothly than if you kept quiet about it all.
Once done, thank them for reading this article and provide contact information such as an email address or website URL so they can check out your social media accounts or blog. Make sure this information is at the bottom of the page directly under the last sentence!