Development Tip – How to apologize effectively

What have you found to be helpful in an apology?

Next time you make a mistake, try these out:

Six Components of an 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.

Here’s an article too— Negotiation and Conflict Management Research Lewicki et al (2016). Let us know what you think!

Apologies are fundamental to restore trust and build resilience in our relationships.  Dr. Lewicki and his colleagues have found 6 important components of an effective apology.  The more components you include, the more effective your apology will be.

Making mistakes is an inherent part of life, and helps to fuel our development if we take the time to learn from them.  Some mistakes can compromise the trust and integrity of our relationships.  These same mistakes, however, can strengthen and bring greater resilience to our relationships.  I’m reminded of a Native American metaphor that compares relationships to buckskin leather.  A new relationship is like a rawhide—inflexible and somewhat fragile.  Mature relationships develop like the making of buckskin—they are stretched just enough over time, that they become more subtle, pliable, and resilient.  Stretched too much, however, and the relationship ruptures just as the leather tears.

Categories : Faculty Dev Leadership

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