Working with a dozen or more people in one place is a definite recipe for misunderstandings. As individuals, we do not see eye to eye with everyone and misunderstanding another person’s gesture or what he has said is quite common. But if we want to work together – sometimes we do not have a choice – we need to be bigger people and apologize for misunderstanding someone’s point of view.
Simply going up to a coworker or a boss and saying sorry does not sound too genuine, even if you are actually feeling quite sorry. People take the word sorry non-seriously – after all sorry is a word that is often overused in this world. So how does one apologize and sound sincere doing it? By writing an apology letter to the person whose action or words you misunderstood.
Apology letters make a great effect on other party. They have the power to melt others and enable them see the other person’s point of view. When you apologize in person, you are actually giving the other a chance to lash out at you. A letter on the other hand is read without any external forces affecting its meaning.
Here is a sample apology letter to clear up a misunderstanding:
September 22, 2015
Ms. Camila Hamel
136 Hillcrest Road
Seward, NE 62518
Dear Ms. Hamel:
This is with reference to the altercation that transpired between us on Monday. After recalling all that was said and heard during our conflict, I realized that the problem was not as serious as I found it to be at that time.
Having recently joined Urban Outfitters, I realize that I am still at bay about the company’s culture and the friendly way in which everyone deals with each other. Since I have always worked for company cultures that are uptight in nature and extremely rigid, I am afraid I misunderstood your friendly remark as a racist one – and reacted in such a negative manner.
My coworkers later explained that it was definitely not a racist remark and that I read too much into what was said. And I agree with them – I should not have been defensive. Slowly, I am beginning to understand people in the company and I must say that it is actually a relief to work with people who are not inflexible.
Please accept my apologies for the terrible reaction that day. I hope to make amends for them in any way you wish.