1. Admit that you were wrong and that you’re sorry. Really own up to what you did — or failed to do. For example, “I jumped down your throat and berated you mercilessly when you didn’t get that report done on time. I was wrong to treat you that way and I am sorry.”
2. Show them you understand the effect it had on them. For instance, “And when I did that, and wouldn’t let it go, I think I made you feel cornered and probably anxious — and maybe even panicky.” You don’t need to jump to conclusions or make assumptions about what they must be feeling or thinking; just try to really put yourself in their shoes.
3. Tell them what you are going to do differently in the future so that it doesn’t happen again. For example, “Going forward, when I’m upset about something you have done or failed to do, I’m going to pause and ask myself, ‘What is the outcome I want from speaking to you?