First, let’s be clear on a few terms.
Breakdown is when there is a momentary collapse in your integrity. You behave in a manner that’s not you and is inappropriate.
Perpetrator means you are the instigator of the breakdown.
Recovering from the Breakdown
The most effective way to recover from a breakdown you perpetrated is to say sorry to those involved.
- The apology must be face-to-face. It cannot be done through email. To be frank, that’s meaningless and gutless.
- Take ownership of the breakdown. In other words, clean up your mess.
- Do not make excuses or explain rationales for your behavior.
- Get straight to the apology. “I owe several apologies. My behavior was over the top…”
- Keep it short. Don’t ramble.
- Leave room for others to respond. If they don’t that’s okay. More time may need to pass.
- It may be necessary to talk about next steps. It depends on the severity of the breakdown, however.
The leader who can say, “I’m sorry” signals to the team that community trumps individuality