Making mistakes is not uncommon in the workplace. As long as we are relating with human beings, mistakes are inevitable. What is crucial, is knowing, how to apologize for a mistake professionally.
This is because relationships in the workplace work differently. So, it is important to learn how to say I’m sorry to your co-worker, superior, client, or business partner. Therefore, it is important to know how to apologize in a professional way.
Being skilled in how to apologize for a mistake professionally can help you salvage your relationship with clients, colleagues, boss, and business partners.
In this post, I have curated 60 samples of how to apologize for a mistake professionally email, notes, and messages for client, company, or coworker. Depending on your need and the peculiarity of your profession, we are sure you’ll find the perfect and sincere official apology messages for you.
12 Tips For An Effective Professional Apology: How To Say Sorry Professionally
The style of apologizing in a professional setting is different from an impersonal relationship. There are several things you must take note of. Knowing how to say sorry professionally will transform your relationships.
1. Apologize immediately after you have committed a mistake
When you apologize just after a mistake has been made, the offended will know you are remorseful. From there, you can still proceed with your professional relationship.
While sometimes it’s best to wait for things to simmer down before you apologize, it is always better to strike while the iron is hot.
Nevertheless, observe the situation and decide if it’s better for everyone to have some space to process the incident before rendering an apology.
2. Choose the appropriate medium to apologize
Depending on the situation, decide the best way to apologize to the offended. If an apology email works best, use it. If an apology in person is ideal, go ahead.
For example, if you were absent at a meeting with a high-profile client, a physical apology is best. However, if you presented a document 30 minutes after the deadline, an email apology works fine.
3. Mention your recipient’s name
When apologizing to someone, irrespective of who the person is, mention the person’s name. It shows you respect the person and acknowledge your mistake. It also infuses sincerity into your message.
4. Offer a sincere apology
If you are not honest in your apology, a more physical approach can help you both to better understand yourselves. In the process, you may realize an apology from you was important after all.
If you offer a dishonest apology, it could make the other person feel you don’t care and increase the damage to your relationship.
Also, reflect on your action and its consequences. If you can see the role your actions play, then you are more likely to offer a genuine apology.
5. Validate the offended’s feelings
Refuse the urge to dismiss the other person’s feelings even when you do not understand the situation. Instead, acknowledge it.
Apologize in a way that validates their feelings. You could include the feelings in your apology. This would make a huge difference.
6. Note the part you played
To offer a proper apology, acknowledge your mistake. Take responsibility. Avoid justification of any form no matter how valid it sounds to you.
Even if you need to explain yourself, ensure it will positively enhance your relationship, or at least, prevent an occurrence in the future.
In all, make sure you do not sound like you are excusing yourself or being defensive.
7. Mention how you will rectify your mistake
It is not enough to apologize, you need to state how you will ensure your mistake is not repeated.
This indicates your thoughtfulness. It also communicates your intention to avoid an occurrence. However, be careful not to over-promise.
8. Fulfil your promise
Once you have mentioned how you will rectify your mistake, go ahead and fulfill it. If you do not keep your word, your apology will mean nothing to the offended. Plus, the other person will find it difficult to trust you.
Yet, if you keep your word, it shows your commitment to having a great relationship with that person.
9. Watch your body language
When you are apologizing in person, know that your words and body must be in cohesion. This means, your body language can negate your apology.
Make sure you are not folding your hands. Look eyeball to eyeball as you apologize. Also, be relaxed. A tense stance shows you are in haste. Show your engagement in the conversation and mean it.
10. Be specific in your apology
When apologizing, especially for a professional mistake, state the offense you have committed. This will let the other person know the purpose of your apology instead of guessing.
11. Apologize in private
Depending on the nature of the offense, it is often better to apologize in private. You could meet the person in his or her office, or go to an empty room, either the conference or board room.
Privacy offers little chance of interruptions and eliminates distractions.
12. State only your actions
When you are apologizing, state your role in that offense. It does not matter if your response was a reaction to someone’s bad action. Avoid words that sound like you are placing blames on someone else.
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Sincere Apologies Examples
I know you do not plan on apologizing every time, but here is a list of sincere apologies examples to keep in mind pending when you need them:
1. Being rude is not in my nature as I uphold the principle of being kind and sensitive to others. But, the stress got to me and I took it out on you. Please forgive me.
2. I apologize for my unprofessional display of emotions. Please pardon me.
3. My colleague and friend, I am writing to you to express my remorse for my poor judgment. I know you were not to blame. I am sorry.
4. My dishonesty in the presence of the board members put you in a tight spot. You almost lost your job because of me. Please pardon me!
5. I behaved badly in front of the team. I had allowed the pressure to get to me. I am full of regrets. Kindly accept my apology.
6. I have seen you were correct. The quality of my work was average and disorderly. I had allowed my pride to get in the way of your counsel. I am ashamed.
7. You are an amazing coworker. One who is always supportive of my endeavor. Forgive my poor choice of words to you yesterday.
8. My response to your question at the meeting was of poor taste. I apologize for my insensitivity and sour behavior.
9. Mrs. Miranda, because of me, you had to face the panel. I deeply apologize for that. I am grateful you took the blame and stood by me. I assure you there will not be a repetition of this mistake.
10. I am sorry for taking sudden vacations without prior information. This is bad irrespective of the personal issue I am faced with. I will resume work soon.
11. I understand that my lack of knowledge about the deal almost cost us the deal in general. Please forgive my ignorance.
12. I could not meet up your expectations for last quarter. I am remorseful over it. Please do not take away this opportunity to prove myself to you again.
13. I am sorry because my poor performance at the meeting almost gave us a query. I am better prepared for upcoming challenges and I will give them my best shot.
14. Dear sir, I know the past months have been filled with multiple mistakes from my end. Still, you have remained open to me. I am ashamed for what I must have cost you. Please forgive me.
15. Dear Madam, I apologize for overreacting when you pointed out my deficiencies. You were only helping me out. I assure you I will not repeat that again.
16. For the past two weeks, I have been consistently late to work. My declining health makes me wake up late. I deeply apologize for this unethical behavior.
17. Hello Mona, forgive me for not keeping my promise to recommend you to the board. It completely escaped me in the heat of the moment. Will writing you a recommendation letter will compensate for my forgetfulness?
18. I am sorry for lying to you about the details of the project. I did not want to risk letting out sensitive matters in the process. Please forgive me for this guilt I feel.
19. Since I have been working in this organization, you have been an ideal colleague turned friend to me. It pains me to know I have hurt you. Kindly forgive me.
20. I apologize for not attending your presentation. I was beset with urgent work. Please let me make this up to you.
21. I am sorry for missing out on our usual lunch break. Pardon, my offense.
22. My sales pitch was a disaster because of my lack of self-control. That was inexcusable! I have apologized to the client. Please let me amend my mistake.
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Samples of Sincere Apologies For The Mistake
Once in a while, we may offend a coworker, boss, client, or business partner. That may be unintended. However, as soon as you are aware you have been faulted, it is important to utter apologies for the mistake you have made.
Here are good examples that will help you say I’m sorry professionally.
1. I know how frustrating it is to be delayed when you only want to complete your job. I am sorry for the delay. The problem has been rectified and the new upgrade allows you to do your work twice faster.
2. You are right. We understand this problem has affected the workflow, but know that I am here to explain things in detail. Feel free to send me a mail.
3. My hastiness in reading your email caused this misunderstanding. I am sorry for my negligence.
4. This is our fault. We did not make the terms clearer at the start.
5. We are sorry your home purchase was delayed due to a processing error. This is currently being looked into by my team. You will be compensated soon.
6. We apologize for the stress the new upgrade had caused you. The technical staff is already working on website issues. You can log in in the next 24 hours.
7. We are sorry for the delayed response to your email. We have to go over the details of the transaction you made so we could have accurate information to give you.
8. We are sorry for the false information on the new stock alert that was mailed to you. Our notifications have been pretty wacky lately but our technicians are on it.
9. Hello customer, we apologize for your sudden removal from our list. Our robot is programmed to remove subscribers who have not viewed our mail in a month. If you want to resubscribe, click here.
10. At (company name), we experienced a glitch that caused an outage resulting in loss of data and new accounts. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We are currently working to ensure this incident is not repeated.
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How To Apologize For A Mistake Professionally Samples
Now you know it is important to apologize as a professional but do you know how to give a professional apology? It is not the same as an informal apology. Nevertheless, here is a list of how to apologize for a mistake professionally samples you can pick from:
1. Due to network surges, your text message will be delayed. We apologize for this and recommend you use another phone number.
2. We are apologetic about the sexual molestation scandal between our CEO and a client. This matter is being looked into. We hope this does not affect our long-term relationship.
3. Mary, I am responsible for emailing you the wrong tickets for your business trip. I see my mistake cost you the plane trip and gave you stress. I am deeply sorry.
4. I forgot to send the bank statements when you requested them. I am sorry you had to reschedule your appointment with the bank.
5. My negligence made the Inspectors view you in the wrong light. I have scheduled a meeting with them to own up to my mistake.
6. I humbly request your forgiveness. My approach upset you. Let us resolve this. I desire to continue this partnership with you.
7. I am sorry for not including you in the VIP company party. I must have left you out during the inventory update. Please forgive me.
8. I apologize for not adding your name to the list of those who get a salary increase. I have not updated the database in a while. I promise your salary will be compensated before the week is over.
9. I apologize for pressuring you with more responsibilities given your situation. I may be your boss, but it is my duty to care for those that work with me. I am giving you a week off to recuperate. I hope this makes up for my past mistakes.
10. Can we talk about the Billion project? I apologize for assuming you were prudent with your costs. That was wrong of me.
How To Apologize For A Mistake Professionally Email
11. Hello everyone, I am sorry for my impatience this past week. I let the pressure of this presentation get to me and affect us. Please forgive me.
12. Hello Taylor, forgive me for blurting out the inaccuracies in your report. I should have waited for a private moment between us. Forgive my indiscretion.
13. Hi Ben, I’m sorry we could not meet our sales target for the year. Could we meet up to evaluate our performance? I promise to do better.
14. I am sorry. I must have gotten the venue wrong. Could you reconfirm for me? Thank you
15. I apologize for not acting on your concerns when you pointed them out to me. My lackadaisical attitude has cost us some fortune. I will be more receptive next time.
16. I am full of regrets for not listening to you regarding this project. Otherwise, I would have performed better. I have learned to be a better team player.
17. Dear Helen, I am sorry for sending your file to another recipient. It was completely unintentional. I have requested the deletion of the mail. Please pardon my carelessness.
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