Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How to craft a super-duper apology

Everyone is apologizing for everything these days. They say or do something, wait to see who's upset, then walk it back...

But even if you are not into capturing news cycles, you may, in good conscience, need to apologize sometimes.

Roy Lewicki, professor emeritus of management and human resources at Ohio State's Fisher College of Business, says an apology should contain six elements:
1. Expression of regret
2. Explanation of what happened
3. Acknowledgment of responsibility
                                                      4. Declaration of repentance
                                                      5. Offer of repair
                                                      6. Request for forgiveness

You can read all about this in the May 2016 J of Negotiation and Conflict Management Research.

The six aspects are not equal--the most important is the acknowledgment of responsibility.

The offer of repair is second most important. Talk is cheap--fixing something takes effort.

The least important is the request for forgiveness. You can even leave that out.

Remember, though--when apologizing face to face, make eye contact and look sincere--heck, BE sincere.

One thing I hate and you should never do is say, "If you were offended, I apologize." The person was! Offended! No "if."

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