How To Apologize Professionally In An Email

Saying you are sorry can sometimes be a difficult task. At times the words ‘I’m sorry’ are not going to be a good enough apology. Especially, in a professional setting. 

How To Apologize Professionally In An Email

In a professional environment there are times when we make mistakes, everyone does. However, when you have made a mistake, the way you respond will say a lot about your character. 

Most people find apologizing in a professional environment extremely stressful, especially since you want to make sure your apology is perfect.

Well, we are here to help you. If you find yourself needing to apologize in a professional way in an email, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to guide you through how to apologize professionally in an email

When Is The Right Time To Apologize Through Email?

When it comes to apologizing, the best way to do it is to the person’s face. By apologizing in person, it shows that you are being respectful.

Also, apologizing in person allows them to see how sincere you are through your body language and the tone of your voice. These aspects can often get lost in an email. 

However, there are times when apologizing in person might not be possible. In fact, in some cases apologizing by email might be the best way to deal with a situation. 

An apology by email might be more appropriate if there is no time for you to do it in person. Scheduling a face-to-face meeting can be tricky when dealing with busy schedules.

However, in between the time before you can see that person, it might be better to ease any tension by apologizing over email. 

Another instance when an apology over email might be a better choice is if you are not expecting the person to respond to you.

Apologies do not have to be conversations, they can sometimes be letting one person know you are sorry and that might be the end of the uncomfortable situation.

Apologizing to a group is always tricky. In a professional setting, an email might be more appropriate for apologizing than trying to gather the group together.

However, it is important that you make sure the apology emails are personal to each member of the group. 

How To Apologize Professionally In An Email

Here are some things you should do when apologizing professionally in an email. 

Provide An Explanation

Explanations are not always needed but it is important that you provide some background information about the situation you are addressing.

We would suggest that you discuss any relevant information about the moments that led up to the mistake you are apologizing for. 

This is to help the person you are apologizing to understand the situation you were involved with, in case they are not aware of the situation.

It is important that you do not use this explanation as an excuse for your mistake as this can make it seem as though you are not accepting responsibility. 

Admit What You Did

A sincere apology should always have you admitting and acknowledging the mistake you made. Without specifically mentioning the mistake, it can seem like you are avoiding it. 

How To Apologize Professionally In An Email (2)

When it comes to admitting you made a mistake, the language you use is extremely important. Avoid using phrases like “I apologize that you”. This phrase is not an apology as you are not admitting that you made a mistake. 

Show Remorse/Regret

Whilst saying you apologize implies that you regret what you did and you feel remorseful, it doesn’t specifically say that you do. In this day and age, we hear apologies being thrown around all the time.

By saying that you regret what you did as well as stating you feel sorry, it makes your apology seem more sincere. 

Showing regret, helps people believe that you would have acted differently if you could redo the situation where you made the mistake. 

Take Ownership Of Your Actions

Hold yourself accountable. Apologies are not a way for you to escape any consequences that you might be facing. Instead, they need to show that you are accepting of any consequences that you might be facing. 

Suggest Ways You Can Repair The Situation

Whilst you might have to face punishment, this is not something that is guaranteed to fix the mistake you made. Therefore, in your email, you should suggest a way to repair any damage you may have caused.

For example, if you offended a customer, client, or someone important to your company, you can suggest making a personal apology to that person. It is important to show that you are willing to improve on yourself. 

Ask For Forgiveness

You should end the email by asking them to forgive you. Make sure that you are not groveling or trying to make them forgive you. Asking for forgiveness at the end of your email allows them to have a choice as to whether they want to or not. 

Things To Keep In Mind

When you are apologizing professionally in an email, it is important that you are being yourself. This means avoiding using templates or common phrases. For an apology to seem sincere, it has to come from you. 

Don’t beg for forgiveness. Begging for forgiveness makes the apology awkward and can make them feel uncomfortable. Instead, ask for it politely but do not keep repeating how sorry you are. 

Make sure you are keeping things clear and simple. Don’t overload your email with unnecessary information as your apology might get lost in all of the details. 

Final Thoughts

Apologizing professionally through an email allows you to take the time to think about what you are going to say. This means you need to choose your words carefully so that you are being respectful to them but sincere. 

Including all of the features mentioned in this article should allow you to write an apology email that is professional and sincere. We hope this guide has helped you to feel more comfortable about making your apology. Thank you for reading.

Justin Shaw
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