One of the most important things we can do to work through conflict is take ownership.
If someone has done something to hurt or annoy us, we want them to acknowledge what they did and the pain/frustration it caused.
On the other side, If we have hurt/annoyed someone we care about, offering them an “I’m sorry” is often one of the most effective ways to make them feel seen and understood.
One of the reasons this is so difficult to do, is because we often correlate apologizing or saying I’m sorry with “being wrong” or doing something “bad.”
If we feel that someone is trying to label us as a bad person for doing something, we go into defense mode, instead of owning.
The easier approach to taking ownership and helping others do the same, is to think about our own integrity.
Most of the time when we do or say something that impacts someone negatively, we were aren’t thinking clearly or perhaps we were in a triggered state.
Rather than thinking about whether or not what we did was the “right” or “appropriate” thing, look back at what happened and ask this question…
“When I look back on what I said/did, is that the most effective way I could have acted in that moment?”
From our calm, grounded state we can evaluate the action and determine if it was or wasn’t in integrity with our highest self.
If it wasn’t, we can acknowledge what we did, share how it wasn’t aligned with what we wish we would have done or how we would have approached the situation and say sorry.
We don’t control what other people do, we DO control our ability to be in integrity with ourselves and take ownership when we miss the mark.
To me, that is a sign of true character and a quality I seek in all of my personal and professional relationships.
As my coaching mentor, @laurenzander_coach would call it “cop-to-it ness”