Miriam Gomberg

How to Overcome the Inappropriate Comment in 4 Easy Steps

Let’s face it, we have all been there before. Some may live it more often than others (raise my hand here). I am talking about the conversation you have with a customer, a friend, family member, boss, coworker, etc., that starts out great until your inner monologue shuts off and you say the first inappropriate thing that comes into your mind. My family is legendary for suffering from this diarrhea of the mouth.

Several years ago, we were hosting one of these family soirees and were discussing good television shows. Suddenly from the corner of the room, my mom interjected that she liked watching WWE and her favorite character was “Ball-Slapper!” There it was! At that moment, I wanted to crawl under the table where no-one would see me. To this day, when we have a get-together with family members (myself included), my husband Robert  often secretly time us to see how long it is until the inappropriate comment comes up randomly in conversation. He has not been disappointed in over 15 years.

All kidding aside, these inappropriate comments can pose problems for you at work if you continually offend with them. Work is not the same as a family dinner, and your customers may not think you are funny when you become too familiar with them. In becoming a trusted editor, it is imperative that you appear professional to your customer. I do not mean act perfect, like a robot. You still need to be your authentic self, just try to leave out the embarrassing part.

For some of us, even with somewhat careful planning, it is inevitable that the verbal diarrhea will  appear. Now you are forced to overcome the incident. What should you do or say to dig yourself out of this one? Seeing that I live with this occurrence from time to time, I devised a list.

  1. Don’t act like it never happened. You owe it to yourself and the person offended to own it.
  2. Apologize. Even though you never meant to offend, you should sincerely apologize for your actions.
  3. Make a mental note to self of what you said so that you will not repeat it.
  4. Move on. Okay, so you owned it, apologized and will not say it again. Enough already! No one wants to work or talk to you when you are wallowing in self-pity.

We are all human and we all slip up every now and again. Part of being human is having the power to forgive yourself and others. What comment(s) have you made that put you in a tight spot? Share your stories about either you or someone you know who has slipped up and spurted out an inappropriate comment.

This entry was published on April 29, 2011 at 9:13 am and is filed under Sales. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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