How to Apologize to your Boss? – 9 Proven Ways

Written By Aleena

You may have missed your deadline and your boss is very much disappointed in you. How would you apologize to your boss?

We will show you today how to apologize to your boss most efficiently. Take notes and act upon them immediately if you have already committed the wrong action.

9 Ways To Apologize To Your Boss:

When it comes to apologizing, doing so in person is the best way because it seems that you are honest and sincere.

In some companies, the boss is always super busy. In this case, you need to write an e-letter or a paper letter to your boss and apologize efficiently.

There are different elements of both; in-person apology, and letter apology. We will discuss them in detail below.

1. Make Up Your Mind Before Apologizing To Your Boss:

Do you want to go to your boss and start talking gibberish because you forgot what to say? Or you suddenly realize you don’t even know what to say?

This can happen if you haven’t made up your mind already. First of all, calm your nerves. Take a deep breath and relax your mind.

Now think of the mistake you did and push yourself to:

– Take acknowledgment

– Consider consequences

– Find ways to solve the mistakes

– Think of how your mistake can affect others

– Deliver a sincere apology

Once you have absorbed the context of your undesired action, it is time to act upon it.

2. Apologize To Your Boss As Soon As Possible:

Never wait long before apologizing, it will not make things right but worse.

Let your boss know that you take full acknowledgment of your mistakes right away.

But keep in mind, do not rush the apology, take time at least till your boss is calm down too. You don’t want to make him more furious.

Once your boss is all normal, make your way to his office or the email and start with your sincere apology.

two guys with serious conversation

Ideally, you should apologize within 24 hours. Your boss will find it more professional and responsible than an apology after 3 days or a week.

Meanwhile, start working on solving the issues you caused. Completing the given tasks, for instance. Whatever the context of the thing you did, start making it right.

3. Use The Right Tone:

Whatever you say, the expression and the tone matter the most. Non-verbal communication is as important as verbal communication.

Be utter polite, make eye contact, speak clearly and slowly, and be serious. Never use humor because it will make things worse.

You rush to say, “I am sorry, I will make it right, bye” and leave without even making eye contact. I am sure you understand how bad this is.

Instead, being on your best behavior and apologizing properly with proper facial expressions will improve your chances of being forgiven.

4. Be Sincere When Apologizing To Your Boss:

“I have truly realized that I messed things up, and I would like to sincerely apologize for my actions/behavior.”

When learning how to apologize to your boss, do not just apologize because it is right. Do so because you mean it.

Your expressions will show if you stand by what you are saying or not. And words have emotions too.

Expression of regret is necessary. Choose the words which represent that you are doing it all from the heart. Your boss will know that you care and it will be easy for him to trust your words.

5. Apologize To Your Boss By Owning Your Mistake:

This is my favorite part. Because it shows just how mature and responsible you are. Own up to your mistake.

“I acknowledge my mistake and I will do everything I can to make it up to you.”

This shows that you have the desire to improve and accept the consequences of your actions. This also represents that in the future, you want to be better.

6. Refrain From Making Excuses:

The blame game is never a good strategy. Making excuses to avoid taking ownership of your actions is just lame.

Never say: “It was my coworker’s mistake, he didn’t do his task right so I couldn’t continue it properly”.


“You didn’t give me enough time so I missed the deadline”.

stop sign when apologizing to your boss

These lines are mere sin. They will add fuel to an already bad situation. Damage has already been done. Now don’t focus on who did what wrong but how to make it right.

Neither blame others for your actions nor make excuses.

7. Apologize To Your Boss By Stating The Apology:

“I am sorry that I went wrong” is better than giving a speech without a single word of repentance. Use the words of apology and make sure your boss hears it right.

A poor example of not stating an apology will be: “I made a mistake, I own it, and I will do everything I can to make it up to you.”

Yes, you touched all basic elements but where is the declaration of your apology? Now re-read this example adding “I am sorry for what I did”.

It will make it sound more honest and meaningful.

8. Ensure You Will Take Care Of The Mistake:

Now is the time to offer the solutions to the problems you created. In your apology, let your boss know that you are ready to repair the damage caused.

Here comes the importance of making up your mind before apologizing.

Ensuring the repair will represent a responsible version of yourself. It will assure your boss that he doesn’t have to wipe the mess you create but you will do it on your own.

It will increase your chances of your boss forgiving you and trusting you in the future.

You can also talk to your colleagues when searching for the best options to repair your actions.

9. Acknowledge The Consequences:

Sometimes there are certain consequences that you need to face when you commit a mistake. Do not run away from them.

For instance, if you do not meet the deadline, you will have to sit overtime and complete it.

So start by saying: “I am well aware that I have to complete the task as soon as possible so I will sit overtime and finish it today. I will not delay it further. You can trust me on this.”

a gesture of winning

In your apology, let your boss know that you know the consequences and you are ready to acknowledge them.

Your compassion to put all efforts to make things right will touch your boss.

Well, it is not a choice though. No matter what, you either have to take the consequences or say goodbye to your job. So why not acknowledge them beforehand?

When To Apologize To Your Boss:

Knowing when to apologize is important with how to apologize to your boss. Below are some common situations where it is mandatory to repent:

1. Inability To Perform A Task Up To Standards:

No boss can ignore poor performance. And if you are showing unsatisfactory performance frequently, you are in big trouble.

Increase the standard of your work and you will get more appreciation.

2. Being Rude To Your Boss:

In a workplace, professionalism matters the most. You got to respect your seniors and peers. Therefore, never be rude to anyone. Let alone your boss.

If you lose your mind and conduct such ill-mannerism, realizing your mistake and apologizing as soon as possible is mandatory.

3. Passing An Inappropriate Comment About Your Boss:

Yes, no one’s boss is perfect. Bosses give tough time to their employees because they need work. But even if your boss is a monster, do not say anything against him to others.

Refrain from saying inappropriate stuff about your boss and even your peers. It affects your personality.

4. Performing An Action Against The Rules And Regulations:

Rules are meant to be broken, do you support this statement? Well, breaking the rules can be the reason you get fired. So do not mess with the principles and regulations of your workplace.

If, unfortunately, you do something like this, make amends immediately. Because it can affect you badly.

5. Hurting Your Boss’s Feelings:

Your boss is a human too. So be empathetic towards him just like you are to your coworkers. Never do anything that can cause problems for you.

How To Apologize To Your Boss Via Email:

Now you know the rules to write an email. Start apology with subject lines, for instance:

– Not performing well

– Missing a deadline

– Being inappropriate or rude

Now follow the rules of writing a letter and in the body text mention your sincere apology. Here, follow all the elements we discussed above.

I will show a brief sample of the apology letter:

Subject: Missing a deadline.


Respected Sir/Ma’am,


Please accept my sincere apology for not finishing sales crucial target in time. This has caused much trouble for the company.

I own my mistake and can not defend my actions, but there are three projects I am working on simultaneously. I promise to perform all remedial steps to take this. 

Truly sorry, and nothing like this will be repeated in the future.

Kindly suggest if there is anything I can do to make it up to the company.


Yours sincerely,

{your name}


Knowing how to apologize to your boss in the best manner is mandatory. Ensure that your apology has all the right components.

Take full acknowledgment of your actions and use the right tone and facial expressions. Own your words and let your boss know you mean them.

Always refrain from blaming others or making excuses to come out of the situation.

Once you state the apology, present methods to improve and solve the issues. Let your boss know your compassion to perform well.

We hope next time you have to say sorry, it works.

Last Updated on 2 months by Shahzaib Arshad


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