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 110 official apologies to teach you how to apologize for a mistake professionally and effectively. 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
- Sincere Apologies Examples
- Samples of Sincere Apologies For The Mistake
- How To Apologize For A Mistake At Work In Mail
- How To Apologize For A Mistake Professionally Samples
- How To Apologize To A Customer For Bad Service Over A Text
- How To Apologize For The Mistake And The Inconvenience
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.
11. Dear Mary, I am sorry for being late for the meeting chaired by you. I know how excited you wanted me to be there on time so we could look over the details.
12. Hello Neya, it was unethical for me to call you out the way I did even though you are still new here. Forgive my mess up.
13. Hi George, our Manager delayed your project idea. I am sorry for this. I know how important this was to you.
14. You are a creative person. I apologize for questioning your plans at the board meeting. I am sure you will cook up something ingenious to nail this deal.
15. I regret not being available for my colleagues. I have been overwhelmed with my new responsibilities as the Team Lead.
16. I am sorry for taking on this new project without informing you first. Your opinion is still very much important to me and I will never take you for granted.
17. I am regretful I agreed to the client’s impossible requests without thinking twice. I wanted us to have this deal. This will not repeat itself.
18. I take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of my teammates at the Office Party. Their reasons are inexcusable. I will see to it they are better behaved next time.
19. I deeply regret my hasty resignation. I made that decision in the heat of the moment. Can I return to my job?
20. Dear Sir, I accept I was irresponsible with the samples. I have reworked my file space. Please forgive me.
21. I apologize for the sudden leave I took without prior information. My father had a stroke. Please consider my situation.
22. I am sorry for taking those pictures without authorization. I intended to keep them for reference. I have deleted them. I promise to work according to the rules next time.
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How To Apologize For A Mistake At Work In Mail
Sometimes you may have offended someone at work, but you may not have the chance to apologize face to face. So, your next option may be to send an email. Here is how to apologize for a mistake at work in mail professionally, either to a client, boss, business partner, or colleague:
Whatever the case may be, and whoever may be concerned, any of these professional email apology samples can be slightly edited to perfectly fit your desire.
1. Dear Sir/Ma,
Subject: Apology for Uncouth Behavior
I am humbled to write to you regarding my unethical behavior at the meeting. I have never fathomed there will be a time you will witness my lack of self-control. There is no excuse for my behavior. I am sorry for my terrible response. I am only to blame.
I hope this changes the bad perception my wrong actions may have formed. Once again, I am sorry.
2. Customer Email ID
Subject: Apology delay in order delivery
We regret the delay of your order dated 1st January 2022.
First, we apologize for any inconvenience this delay may have caused. Sadly, your order is untraceable at the moment.
Be rest assured we are working hard to locate your order as well as uncover the cause of this error. This matter has been expedited to the appropriate authority. Once your order has been traced, we will deliver it to you at once.
Thank you for your long-standing patience. Feel free to respond to this email.
We apologize again for the delay.
3. Subject: Apology for Late Payment
We apologize for the late payment on the Company tax fee as a result of unavoidable circumstances.
Attached to this mail is the scanned receipt of payment as well as the issued cheque of $3000 against our tax payment for January 2022.
Kindly accept our profound apology for the delayed payment.
Company name and signature
4. Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Last name of customer)
We, ( Company Name), seek your apology for offering services beneath your expectations.
We regret the inconveniences we have caused you during your stay with us.
Still, we would like you to remember the previous experiences you have had with us which were pleasant and satisfactory.
We request you do not take this experience to heart as you are one of our oldest and most treasured customers.
We apologize for this experience and offer you a two-day free stay plus on-the-house payment for all your food.
We hope you accept this. Let us continue our long-term partnership with one another.
Our warmest regards,
Manager and signature
5. To: Customer Mail Address
Subject: Apology for delivery of a defective product
We are deeply sorry that the electric fan you purchased from our store was not functional. As per our culture, we double check the functionality of our products before sending them for delivery.
We apologize and regret any inconvenience we have caused you. We suggest you return the electric fan to our closest store to you so you can either receive a replacement or get a refund if you want.
Once again, we are deeply sorry.
6. Subject: Apology for the Delay in Supplying Goods
We are sorry to inform you that the goods you ordered as of January 1st, 2022, which are supposed to reach you on January 5th, 2022 are going to be delayed due to the curfew imposed on the Transportation sector in our state.
Despite the unexpected hassle, we are putting in all our efforts to ensure your goods are delivered soon.
Please, accept our apology as we desire to keep our relationship with you flourishing.
We promise your goods will be delivered to you on 10th January 2022. We plead with you to bear with us.
Thank you for your understanding,
Name of Sender
7. To : ( Receiver’s Email address)
Subject: Apology for deleting files
Dear (Recipient name),
I am sorry for deleting the important files required for the tender. I had no intention of doing such but I regret my carelessness in this situation.
I understand this has created a problem for you and the company. This has also affected the reputation of the company.
I deeply regret the mess I have created. I promise there will not be a repeat of this mistake.
I informed the Manager this was my mistake and was pleased with her to withdraw the penalty given to you.
I hope our professional relationship does not end because of this.
My deepest apologies,
8. Recipient mail
Subject: Apology for Sending wrong documents
I write this mail to apologize for sending the wrong documents to our clients. I regret this mistake, and I am ashamed of the loss this mistake has created for the company.
It is true that apologies cannot erase mistakes, but please know I am sorry for being careless.
Please forgive me.
9. Subject: Apology for the late submission of the report.
I am sorry for exceeding the deadline for submission of the report.
This report was slated to be completed by January 8th, 2022, but I failed to meet up.
I am working extra hours to get this report ready before January 15th, 2022.
I appreciate the trust you have provided in me to work on this project.
Once again, sir, I am sorry
10. Subject: Personal apology for missing deadline on a group project
I am sorry for being a sent on our project. I know how frustrating this was for you and I accept responsibility for it. It was my fault it was turned in late.
I have informed our Manager I was the reason for the late submission of the project. I promise this will never happen again. I will be more responsible with my tasks and will complete my responsibilities before the deadline.
Also, if I am struggling with the deadline. I will make sure to inform you and the Manger ahead of time before it escalates.
You are a valuable teammate to me, and I hope we get past this soon.
Let me know what you think.
11. Dear Sir,
Having reviewed this monthly performance, I write to apologize for my poor performance. My lack of efficiency and inability to meet up deadlines led to this.
I promise to work harder and regain the trust you had in me.
Thank you sir for another chance.
12. Subject: Apology for poor food service
We deeply apologize for the spoilt food that was served during your stay with us. At XYX, we pride ourselves on serving fresh and tasteful meals to esteemed clients such as yourself. This negligence on our part is a gross one and we take responsibility for it.
Please, accept our apology.
13. Subject: Apology for wrong figures
I apologize for the inaccurate figures written on the file. This was due to my carelessness. I promise to be more careful next time.
14. Subject: Apology for Wrong comments made
Hello Sandy, I want to apologize for the way I spoke to you earlier. It was wrong of me to say such things. There is no justification for that. Please forgive me.
15. Subject: Apology for taking a bribe
I apologize for accepting money from the client before bringing him to you. I know this goes against the rules of this organization and I defaulted in that regard. I have returned the money, and I will not repeat this mistake again.
16. Subject: Apology for revealing personal details of another
I am sorry for breaking your trust. I allowed my excitement to get to me and revealed your secret. Please will you forgive me?
17. Subject: Apology for distasteful remarks
I feel terrible about the negative way I described your project. I allowed feelings of jealousy to control me. You are a great person and I do not want to lose you. Please, pardon me.
18. Subject: Apology for racist comments
We apologize for the comment we used in our last email. We did not realize it was racist in any form. We deploy apologize for the hurt we have caused you.
19. Subject: Apology for plagiarism
I am regretful of the plagiarized report I sent to your email. This is due to my haste in getting the work done that I did not think about the consequences of my actions. Please pardon my foolishness.
20. Subject: Apology for hidden service charge
It has been brought to our attention that you were uninformed about some of the service charges incurred on your purchase. We apologize for our lack of transparency. Your charges have been refunded.
21. Subject: Apologyfor substandard products
We are sad to know our products were below standard. They usually go through quality checked before being delivered to our customers. We are remorseful about this.
Expect another delivery soon.
22. Subject: Apology for company change of name
We have come to understand our decision to change our company name is not going down well for you. We did not realize our company name was endearing to you. We have decided to rectify our mistake by keeping the name as it is. We are glad our name means a lot to you.
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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.
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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How To Apologize To A Customer For Bad Service Over A Text
In the course of conducting business, mistakes do happen. If poorly handled, those mistakes could fester and destroy your relationship with your customers. Here are some examples of how to apologize to a customer for bad service
1. We observed that our scheduling application only sent one of your posts. We apologize for our inability to pick this up earlier. The problem has been rectified.
2. I regret to say your order has been botched. The delivery truck was attacked by armed robbers alongside Marina Road. Your order will be delayed for a week at most. Please exercise some patience.
3. We are sorry our Macadamia Oil is out of stock. Due to some instability in the North, our delivery was delayed. We believe this will be rectified soon. Meanwhile, enjoy a 30 percent discount on our other oils. Thank you for your understanding.
4. Hello Mr. Ken, please accept my apology for the spare parts that were wrongly delivered to us. We got to know they were unfit for your car specifications. The right parts are being shipped to you now. Thank you for your understanding.
5. We sincerely apologize for the faulty installations made in your office yesterday. Our team is returning to rectify that error.
How To Apologize For The Mistake And The Inconvenience
Along the way, mistakes will occur. Those mistakes can cause a lot of inconvenience to the receiver. It is necessary you know how to apologize for the mistake and the inconvenience you must cause. Feel free to grab an idea or two from the list below:
1. We realized we sent the wrong document to your mail. We apologize for our mistake and the inconvenience this may have produced. We have just resent the right document. Also, receive the offer of a 20% discount on your next purchase.
2. We committed a mistake by sending you the wrong information about this product. We apologize for any inconvenience incurred. There will be no repetition of this event.
3. We are aware we have sent a file you could not open. Please pardon our mistake. Another file has been resent.
4. We sincerely apologize for sending a poorly formatted document. It has been fixed and attached to this mail. Once again, we apologize.
5. We regret sending the wrong email to you. It was unprofessional of us. Please accept our apology.
6. Out mail was delivered much later than we promised and we are sorry for that. It will not repeat itself.
7. We had forwarded an incorrect attachment to you. We apologize for the inconvenience we have caused. We hope this does affect our partnership.
8. Hello Miss Sarah, I just sent an email that was intended for Mr. George. I apologize for my carelessness. Given the privacy of the email, kindly delete it from your inbox.
9. Dear Mr. Convent, I mistakenly forwarded a broken link to your Dropbox account. You may have noticed it when you clicked on it. Please pardon my mistake. I have resent the link to you.
10. I am sorry for omitting a vital detail in our last conversation. It has escaped my mind as we got ready for the meeting. I hope my omission has not caused you any inconvenience? Thank you for understanding.
11. Dear Mr. Ken, I deeply apologize for the incomplete email that was sent to your inbox. I have reattached the complete content to this email. I hope this unprofessional error did not cost you anything? Pardon me once again.
12. We are sorry for sending an empty package to your destination. That was due to an error during processing. We are sending another package. Pardon our error. Let this not affect the relationship we have built for years.
13. I just noticed that the report I mailed to you consists of many typos. This speaks of a lack of consideration on my part and I am regretful. I have resent an error-free report.
14. This is to apologize for the wrong invoice that was mailed to your company. I understand it was for a different client. Pardon our excesses.
15. Dear Helen, I am sorry for the misinformation I had given you regarding the project. This was the cause of the inconsistencies our Manager pointed out during your presentation. I have taken the responsibility for it. I hope you can forgive me.
16. I am sorry for sending the wrong statistics to your department. This has caused confusion and miscommunication among the management tiers. I cannot undo all my wrongs but I hope this report on accurate statistics is enough to appease your anger.
17. Thank you George for your prompt reminder. I realized I had informed you of the wrong time for the meeting. Expect an email on the correct time and agenda for the next meeting. Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience.
18. Hello Mr. Ken, we noticed we have given you the wrong booking schedule. We are sorry for this mistake.
19. We mistakenly emailed you the wrong payment list. Please find attached the right payment list for your purchase.
20. We have seen that the invoice sent to your team contained false information from a client. This error has been rectified, and the correct information would be emailed to you before noon.
21. I apologize for my poor performance on the files you sent to me. Nothing excuses mediocrity. Thank you for not giving up on me.
22. I am sorry for not studying up on the profile. I ended up embarrassing myself and the company during the sales pitch. I will be more dedicated to my work. This mistake will not repeat itself.