Mastering the Art of Sincere Apologies
Rich Hua stashed this in Leadership
When do apologies work?
When does an apology help everyone learn, improve, and move on? What distinguished sincere apolgies from the rest? I think it takes three ingredients:
• Compassion: The words and the tone convey sincere empathy
• Coherence: The parts of the apology add up to a meaningful, informative statement and are not internally contradictory or self-cancelling
• Credibility: The apology is believable and action-oriented
Few apologies hit all three.
Company CEOs might learn something from the world of medicine, where doctors’ errors can have traumatic results for patients:
In a prior blog in this forum, Paul Levy argues that physicians must be taught how to apologize. I couldn’t agree more. Error expert Lucian Leape, who has published widely on medical errors, disclosure, and apology, provides four stages of an effective apology: Admit, Explain, Apologize, and Take Responsibility. If these stages are followed faithfully, the result is very likely to be coherent, credible and compassionate.