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Mastering the Art of Sincere Apologies


Stashed in: #lifehacks, Leadership!, Gratitude, Authenticity, CEOs, Business Advice, Empathy, Compassion, Relationships, Sincerity

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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.

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