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The Art of Saying Sorry: How to Make Your Apology as Effective as Possible

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Timeliness is crucial for workplace apologies. Tensions can easily escalate to the point of making work unbearable for one or more parties. 

Once you recognize that you owe an apology, do your best to make it as soon as possible, and try to turn the interaction into a constructive conversation. 

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The Art of Saying Sorry: How to Make Your Apology as Effective as Possible

The Art of Saying Sorry: How to Make Your Apology as Effective as Possible

https://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/the-art-of-saying-sorry-how-to-make-your-apology-as-effective-as-possible.html

inc.com

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Key Ideas

Consider Legal Entanglements

In some situations, an apology can equate to an admission of guilt. If there are any concerns about the repercussions of an apology, you may want to consult with your legal department before making it.

However, if you messed up and the results are catastrophic, it's important to own the mistake and accept the consequences. If you try and shift the blame, someone else might pay, and others may lose respect for you. 

Don't Assume Fault that Isn't Yours

If you are wrongly blamed for a mistake, make your case and speak up for yourself. 

You may be tempted to cover for others, and while helping someone else out of a tough spot may seem noble, this could eventually evolve into someone using you as a doormat, or escaping responsibility for repeated mistakes.

Don't Compromise Personal Values

Some business people employ underhanded or downright illegal tactics in their work. If you are pressured to do the same and refuse, there is no need to apologize. Your personal integrity is more important than smoothing over a stressful situation.

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Apologies are not about right and wrong

They're about taking responsibility for unintentionally (or even intentionally) hurting someone emotionally or physically.

You apologize less because of you and your c...

6 Components of a good apology
  1. Expression of regret
  2. Explanation of what went wrong
  3. Acknowledgment of responsibility
  4. Declaration of repentance
  5. Offer of repair
  6. Request for forgiveness
Communicate Effectively And Sincerely

The content of an apology is only half the battle. The delivery matters as well. If you mumble, avert eye contact, or stand in the corner with your arms crossed, it won’t matter what you say. 

No matter how much damage was done, a sincere apology restores faith.

The Courage To Apologize

Saying you’re sorry is uncomfortable. It can be hard to admit your shortcomings and acknowledge your mistakes. But taking responsibility is the key to restoring trust.

An apology

An apology is one of the most profound interactions two human beings can have with one another.

Research by Lazare and others suggests effective apologies—meaning those that are accepted by ...

Timing

When people make the common mistake of saying they’re sorry too quickly, they can miss a crucial step towards reconciliation.

If someone commits a serious transgression, it’s best to apologize only after the victim has had a chance to “yell and vent” and fully process the betrayal.

Apologies that come too late, like those that come too early, are likely to fail; the sweet spot is somewhere between the two.

Assuring the victim
Assure the victim that the bad behavior won’t happen again.

You should be more focused on the other person, making sure they really believe that you get what you did wrong. Without that emphasis on the other person’s emotional state—and the promise of change—an apology sounds insincere.

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