Sometimes we get it wrong and when we do there isn’t much choice we have to go and apologise.
It might be that you jumped a little too hastily at somebody when they gave you some bad news, but if you don’t apologise the following day or even earlier if you can you create a sense of resentment and a real problem for the future
They say it takes a big man (or a big woman) to apologise but actually I think you just need to be honest. Say “I made a mistake” and move on.
You’ll have the respect of the other person – they will respect your openness and will tell everybody else. Your reputation won’t be damaged by that momentary slip of your attention or that unwarranted reaction. Your reputation will be enhanced by the recognition from your team that you are big enough to say
“Sorry guys I got that one wrong”
If you don’t admit the mistake the team know that you made a mistake they know that you reacted hastily and your reputation is diminished. The level of trust the team will give you is reduced and if you’re not careful the team will stop sharing with you and you will lose out.
There’s no protection or face saving in hiding from the facts.There’s no point pretending to the customer that everything will be fine, when you know the delivery will be late or the project will over run. They won’t thank you for avoiding the issue and giving them a nasty surprise.
In the same vein, if something has gone wrong with your department or your area of responsibility, tell the boss – sooner rather than later.
Honesty really is the best policy