Leroy Jethro Gibbs was famous for quoting Rule Number 6, "Never say you're sorry, it's a sign of weakness." On the surface, one can hear the ring of truth in that rule. For it has happened, hasn't it? We have apologized for something and we knew immediately, as soon as the words escape, it was a mistake. At that moment we knew we had put ourselves at a social disadvantage. If we were very fortunate the other person might have said, "No, no, no! Not at all, don't worry about it.!" Unfortunately, and especially in a tough busineess setting, a super competitive workplace, a very public leadership opportunity, the reply is often, awkward silence.
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