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But It’s Not About You!

Driving home from Guysborough last Tuesday I had ample opportunity to listen to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s apology statement. It played on the radio  several times and, of course, there are lots of similarities between radio content and a phone conversation.  While I could comment on many things about the ridiculous situation in Toronto politics, what struck me most was Rob Ford’s  choice of words.

Consider these statements:

“I know I have embarrassed everyone”

“I will forever be sorry”

“I know that admitting my mistakes was the right thing to do and I feel like 1,000 pounds have been lifted off my shoulders”

“I have nothing left to hide”

“I was embarrassed and ashamed”

“I can’t do anything else but apologize”

“I sincerely sincerely sincerely sincerely apologize”

Now, put this in the context of customer service or sales. Can you hear it? The apology shouldn’t have been about Rob Ford! If his apology is genuine, if he really wants to serve the City and its people, if he truly wants to stand and be of service, then his language would be vastly different.

Consider these possibilities:

“You have been embarrassed by me and my behaviour”

“You have been lied to by me”

“I apologize to you. What can I do to regain your trust?”

The #1 rule of great communication is “It’s Not About You”.  Rob Ford’s apology statement is an amazing example of how not to speak with your clients and customers: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/rob-ford-apologizes-to-torontonians-family-but-will-not-step-down/article15279242/