Last couple of years, it seems to have become common for a person or an organisation which has messed up or done something stupid to try and construct what should be an apology with a sentence that begins “I’m really disappointed that I was a xxx yesterday / or did yyy.” (Insert relevant embarrassing identity or behaviour.)
I saw one of these in the media last week. It was a company on that occasion. I forget who—maybe just as well.
Perhaps a few years ago, a PR person thought using “disappointed with myself” was a clever idea—a way to avoid responsibility without actually blaming anyone else.
It might put some distance between the person and the embarrassment, but unfortunately it also puts an ocean between them and their credibility—because it’s so pathetically not leading, seeming to say “I’m a victim: Please sympathise with me.” Or “I’m not really that person” or “We’re not really that organisation.”
I’d say don’t use this squirmy construction. Own what you did, even if it’s bad, and just apologise and say what you’re going to do about the problem. That way lies credibility and respect.
That’s what I think anyway.
How does the “disappointed” phrase land with you? Do you think it works?
I like this and agree that it turns one into a victim. I much prefer if someone owns a mistake then we can have a but of collective problem solving – if needed.
At the very least it assists in building a culture of trust.