When was the last time you approached someone for help and started the conversation with “Sorry to bother you”? Why did you say that? Often, we do it to be polite and acknowledge the interruption. That is all well and good, however there is no reason to apologize for asking for help.
We need to recognize that people are busy and likely engrossed in what they are doing. It is polite to recognize that we are interrupting them. It doesn’t warrant an apology, you haven’t made a mistake or done anything wrong. Save the apology for when it’s appropriate such as “Sorry I’m late getting you this information the system was down, and I couldn’t get into the database.”
When we apologize when it isn’t warranted, we diminish our credibility and it comes across as a lack of confidence. Studies show that women find more reasons to apologize then men do. Why are you undermining yourself by apologizing?
4 Ways to be polite without apologizing
Smart successful people know they need help on a variety of things, as they don’t know everything, so they ask for it. No one thinks less of them for getting help when needed and no one expects them to apologize for needing help. The great leaders recognize the need for help and are respectful to those that help them. Isn’t it time for you to be comfortable with getting help and polite when asking for it?