You know, it's amazing how powerful an apology can be.
Last week at basketball, a player on my team yelled at me because I wasn't in the position that I was supposed to have been in. For some reason, his yelling at me really rubbed me the wrong way, and during a time out, I said to him in a very even tone, "Don't yell at me like that ever again."
At first, he thought I was joking, but then after I said it a second time, "I'm serious, don't yell at me like that again," he came over to me and shook my hand. I appreciated that, but what I appreciated even more was after the game, in the locker room, he came over to me and said, "Chad, I'm sorry, I did yell pretty loudly." I was so touched that he did this, I couldn't even look at him when I told him, "It's OK."
And then during the week, I thought a lot about this small, little incident. I actually came to the conclusion -- probably because I was able to think straight, thanks to his having given me such an honest apology -- that I myself shouldn't have been so stern.
So this week at basketball, I actually went up to this player and said, "Hey, man, I was a little harsh last week. I'm sorry I was so harsh. I was just really stressed out." I then took him around and it was all good. But then, believe it or not, he said, "No, no, I was really stressed out last week, too, so it really could have been on me."
Again, I was amazed at his willingness to take the blame, if you will, for the situation. We both left it off that perhaps we both had done something a little bit wrong.
But, wow, I feel so much more connected to this guy now.
It's amazing the power of an apology.