My favourite apology and gratitude booster
If you think I’m very active on LinkedIn, you are basically right.
Nevertheless, I can’t refrain myself from letting you know that you might be overlooking my offstage activity over here.
As a quality obsessed professional keen on languages, I must confess that I occasionally send private messages to some of my contacts to make them aware of their public linguistic slips.
To make it clear what I’m talking about, not only do I inform them about the typos they might have accidentally made, but also about their recurrent use of poor translations, gender biased language or misleading expressions.
Just to give you a few examples, if you usually translate “soft skills” with “habilidades blandas” in Spanish, if you unnecessarily use masculine pronouns (he/his/him) instead of the standard neutral form (they/their/them) in English, if you state that Agile is a methodology or if you publicly and frivolously affirm that “UX Writing is about writing user stories like a product owner would do”*, you should expect to receive a message from yours truly sooner or later.
As shown in the following schema, people’s reactions in such cases can be grouped by four categories.
* Can you guess under which category does the person who publicly and frivolously stated that
“UX Writing is about writing user stories like a product owner would do” fall?
Strange as it may sound, some impolite and oblivious people just ignore me: they neither say thanks nor make any correction. I guess they don’t agree that, whilst to err is human, to persist in error is diabolical…
Others seem to practice impolite mindfulness instead: they just amend the mistake without saying anything.
Well, even though they give me the impression of being a little too proud of themselves, I appreciate the fact that, at least, they show they care about their lapses (or their image).
Those ones who apparently manifest thankfulness but decide not to correct the error are the people whom I understand the less, especially if the issue is gender biased language and they are actively showing me how much they care about gender discrimination…
Yes, I admit it: I can’t stand polite obliviousness. Basically because, if I tactfully make you aware of something which is easy to fix, but you prefer not to take any action, you’re telling me you don’t care. Regrettably, this also means I might not be so considerate next time…
As you may guess, the people I enjoy dealing with the most are polite mindfulness practitioners: those ones who not only do demonstrate gratitude, but also take immediate actions to amend their lapses.
It has to be said that, once I’ve noticed a slip, I may sporadically opt for not contacting the corresponding person.
Sometimes, they realize themselves (or are made aware by someone else) about the misstep.
When that happens, I definitely prefer those ones who admit and correct the error to those ones who just recognize it but decide to live with it.
As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that, whilst an apology may help, the best way to demonstrate you care about a mistake you made is to fix it.
In other words, I would say that, whenever possible, fixing what you screwed up is the best way to apologize, isn’t it?
P.S. A great thanks to my friend Ralph Fisher for his perusal and feedback.
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