When faced with a challenging situation there are two actions that can be taken which can go a long way towards defusing the situation and moving towards a productive resolution.
Apologizing and taking responsibility.
Even if you yourself had nothing to do with it.
Even if the problem originated with someone or something else somewhere in the supply chain, just apologize and take charge of working on a solution.
Think about how you’d respond if you were the one with the problem and someone in charge said “I am so sorry, let me fix this.”
It kind of works, doesn’t it? You feel better already.
That said, just apologizing isn’t enough.
Just as complaining about a problem without offering a solution is whining, so too is apologizing without finding a solution is just placating; it’s kicking the can down the road and hoping someone else will take care of it.
I do this all the time. Even if a dealer’s issue had nothing to do with me, I take it on. “I’m sorry, that was probably my fault! Here’s what we’ll do about it.
It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference.