Five Reasons NOT to Apologize

Generally, it’s best to apologize quickly and completely in an effort to preserve the relationship. I define effective apology as the willingness to value the relationship more than the need to be right. But sometimes there are compelling reasons not to apologize. Here are five such reasons. 1. When an […] Read more

Apologize as the First Resort

Apology is not a get-out-of-jail-free card, but it’s less costly than the alternatives What exactly should leaders do when they make a mistake or suffer a setback? The surprising answer is to apologize. Apologizing, accepting responsibility, and acting in a transparent manner yields significant benefits. Leaders who apologize just have […] Read more

Is an Apology “Just Words” or An Action?

Some people dismiss an apology as “just words.”  A gesture without substance. But the following are also “just words.” Or are they something more? Minister: By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you married. Jury: We, the jury, find the defendant guilty. Judge: I hereby sentence you to […] Read more

Accountability, Apology, and Bill Cosby

It’s more and more obvious that the entertainer Bill Cosby has conducted his private life in a shameful and criminal manner for many decades. As of this writing, over a dozen women have come forward with allegations that are remarkably similar. Some of the women complained decades ago that Bill […] Read more

An Inmate’s Public Apology

In a previous blog, I introduced an inmate I called Charles.   He wrote me a letter introducing himself as an inmate in the Sheridan Correctional Center in Illinois. Charles wanted to issue a public apology and asked me my opinion about doing so.   That blog post included my […] Read more

Are There Tricks to Make Your Apology Better?

Are there tricks to more effective apology? I’m skeptical. A recent article “A Trick to Make Your Apology Better” quoted a paper  from the Journal of Experimental Psychology that suggested a little self-affirmation makes it easier to apologize. Karina Schumann, a Stanford University psychologist, demonstrated this by instructing 98 adults […] Read more

An Inmate Asks if he should Issue a Public Apology

An inmate–let’s call him Charles–incarcerated at the Sheridan Correctional Center in Illinois  writes with a question about whether he should issue a public apology for his offenses. Charles writes: I have a subscription to my local newspaper, and I noticed that there are a great deal of crime reports and […] Read more