Have you ever received an apology from somebody that sounded fake? I know I have! Depending on the severity of the screw-up, sometimes a simple “I am sorry” just isn’t enough. Worse, an insincere (sounding) apology can sometimes make matter even worse!
In my opinion, there are a few steps to making an effective apology:
- Acknowledge your mistake. This doesn’t need to be a long-winded explanation. Something as simple as, “I am sorry I forgot to lock the door” will be sufficient.
- Next, inquire about the impact the blunder had on the person to whom you are apologizing: “How much damage was caused by the burglary?”
- Then explain yourself in context. It is important to sound sincere and not defensive in anyway when explaining yourself. “I knew I was rushing. I could have paid more attention but didn’t. Next time I will be sure to be more diligent.”
- Finally, ask the person how to make amends: “I want to help make this right. What I can do to fix this?”
What do you think? Have you ever heard an ineffective or a really effective apology that you want to share? Please leave them in the comments.