How often has someone apologized to you in a less than sincere manner, leaving you feeling more upset than if there had been no apology at all?
How can we ensure that our apologies provide those we may have wronged with the kind of closure we intend?
Jathan Janove at the labor and employment law firm Ogletree Deakins makes some important points about apologies in an article entitled “How to Keep Your ‘But’ Out of Your Apology.” He sets out the difference between the kind of ineffective apology that can lead to hard feelings and even litigation in some instances, and the type that can put relationships back on an even keel.
Janove suggests that instead of a “but” apology, we try the “MIDAS touch,” consisting of words that communicate these points: “I made a Mistake. It caused you Injury. I will do things Differently. Let me make Amends.” After we have done that, he says, we should “Stop talking.”
I highly recommend Janove’s article because of the clarity with which he makes his points, and their potential for practical application. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or directly via email. I look forward to hearing from you.