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  • Writer's pictureShannon Lantzy

"Thanks" instead of "Sorry"

Consider saying thank you instead of apologizing when the error hasn't harmed

Two weeks ago I sent out my newsletter without changing the title. Last week I did it again, quickly caught it, and sent a second email with the title fixed. Readers of my newsletter received two emails and experienced some confusion if they read the title and then the mismatched, discordant contents. I was mortified. I was moving too quickly, did not follow my checklist for quality review, and felt the urge to send another email with an apology.

I'm not sorry that I get a newsletter out each week. I'm not sorry that I haven't yet delegated or automated the quality check. I know that at this moment, my time is better spent serving my clients than tuning my systems. I have high standards for myself and others, but the adages "ship it!," "the 80% solution," "don't let great get in the way of good enough," and "success not perfection" all ring in my head every week as I hit "post."

Instead of apologizing to my readers, I'll thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for your attention, and thank you for accepting my errors. Since you're still reading, you didn't unsubscribe because of my mistakes. Thank you, I appreciate you.

I love apologies and practice them meaningfully and liberally. And yet, saying "thank you" is a way of getting outside a self-view ("I made a mistake, I should apologize, I caused that person grief") and into an appreciation of the connection and respect within the relationship ("we are connected, despite our imperfections").

What business does this have in a business context? Everything. When we work, it is easy to lose connection, only measure objective results, forget about human emotions, and worse. All of this is heightened by virtual rather than in-person interactions. Connected, collaborative, vulnerable, and confident individuals (and teams) win more and have a lot more fun along the way.

~Shannon, the Optimistic Optimizer

Hat tip to the person who posted an Instagram story that spurred some of this thinking. I can't find you again now, but I know you're out there!


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