Is Sorry Your Finish Line?

One of the fundamental things track coaches teach is to never stop at the finish line. Why? Because stopping at the finish line means you slow down prior to getting there. Your time is weakened. Someone could slip in and beat you. Runners learn to run through the finish line and not think about the race being finished until they’ve past the line.

In business and even in our personal lives, sometimes we view “sorry” as our finish line. When we make a mistake or when we want to show concern for someone or something, the word sorry quickly comes out. Sometimes it even comes out without any feeling at all. It’s just another word we use to get us to the next subject or to wrap up a conversation.

We’re sorry. It’s complete. Moving on.

The thing is that if our client isn’t happy, then our saying sorry doesn’t rid us of the issue. If we haven’t resolved the misunderstanding with our co-worker, sorry doesn’t fix it. The fact is apologies don’t represent finish lines. Sorry isn’t where we should stop.

Going beyond the sorry goes beyond customer service or teamwork. It’s really about our mindset to serve to the fullest, to not stop at the finish line.

So what should happen after the “sorry”? Use your apology as the start of your fixing the situation instead of the end of your disappointing the person.