A few weeks ago while in Traverse City, I met up with an event planner that I had worked with a couple of years prior. We were chatting all about our small businesses over espresso when she said this:
I no longer apologize to my clients. I rephrase it as a thank you.
I stared blankly for a moment until she proceeded to give me an example: “If a client follows up with me because I haven’t responded, instead of saying ‘I’m so sorry for the delay!’ I say, ‘thank you so much for the reminder’ / ‘thank you for touching base!’
Immediately I gravitated towards this concept, and loved the way it sounded. But more than that, I loved the way it made me feel. How many times have you responded to an email like the one above with “I’m so sorry that I haven’t gotten back to you” or “I’m so sorry that I’m not available” and had the feeling that you’ve just disappointed someone, or that you’ve done something wrong when in fact – you haven’t? It’s an unnecessary feeling, and one that can be completely scrapped simply by shifting your perspective.
You shouldn’t be sorry for a delayed response – because you’ve got a life outside of your email, and you deserve to be able to step away from time to time. You shouldn’t be sorry for not being available for someone because life at times can be busy, and calendars fill up – it’s just what they do. So rather than apologizing for, well, life – thanking those who have you on their minds eliminates all guilt or feeling of wrong doing.
I’ve been doing it ever since, and I have to say – it’s been such a positive mental shift. So what do you think? Will you try it?3