Just recently it came to my attention that someone with whom I thought I had a good relationship was actually offended by me. What made the situation more difficult was that they hadn't told me – I had discovered it through a third party.
Regardless of how you find out or who may be to blame, the first step towards repairing relationships is heartfelt recognition that you have offended the other person.
Somehow, you need to find words to genuinely and authentically recognise that you have offended.
“Please tell me how I have offended you”
“I realise I have offended you”
“I have wronged you, please tell me more”
Words like these provide the opportunity for the offended party to let you know what you did, or didn't do. It lets them know that you want to know how it impacted them and that you are inviting them to speak while you listen intently, ask questions sensitively and try to understand as fully as possible what has gone wrong.
Whether you think the other person is justified in being offended, or whether you think you are innocent is actually irrelevant.
If someone is offended by you, you need to know about it and you need to act. Heartfelt recognition is the first step in repairing relationships.
Who do you need to go to today and acknowledge that something has gone wrong?
Matt Bird helps leaders and organisations build the relationships needed to achieve greater success. He is the creator of Relationology and works as a keynote speaker, trainer and coach specialising in new business development and client relationships. This blog is an extract from his new book ‘Relationology - 101 Secrets to grow your business through the power of relationships’ available now from Amazon.