If you are wrong, admit It quickly and emphatically…
This is another of Dale Carnegie’s principles, one that is unfortunately not applied as often as it should be. The thought of admitting you have made a mistake, to many people, shows weakness. Except being vulnerable is a strength. Being willing to be known and take responsibility is also.
A long time ago I learned this lesson well.
I was driving my car up to an intersection that I did not have the right-of-way at. As I pulled up, I looked to the right, then to the left and having seen nothing I started to pull across the intersection. As I did, I glanced again to my right and saw a large man on a large motorcycle seemingly inches away from my right fender. I slammed on my brakes and he swerved out-of-the-way and completed his left turn without incident. Shaken, I continued on my way and glanced in my rearview mirror only to see the motorcycle turning around and coming after me.
I was wrong, and I knew it.
The man on a motorcycle was wearing a black leather jacket, black helmet, and was sitting on top of a black motorcycle. It was somewhat understandable that I didn’t see him, but it was still my fault.
What I did next, might seem a little risky and counterintuitive. I pulled over onto the shoulder and got out of my car, just as the biker pulled up. He was clearly angry. He also probably thought I was going to give him a hard time. What I did then was throw up my hands up and say how very sorry I was, that it was clearly my fault, and was he all right?
He was totally caught off guard. He stammered a little and then said “you just better be more careful in the future“, then turned his bike around and went on his way.
I have no way of knowing what would have transpired had I not stopped, but it turned a potentially bad situation into a very valuable life lesson.
When you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.