Admitting You Were Wrong: The Art of the Apology

From the Show: Naturally Savvy

To err is human. Learn the art of apologizing when you make a mistake.

Air Date: 3/26/14
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Lauren M. Bloom, JD
Lauren M. Bloom, J.D., is an internationally recognized expert on professional ethics and personal integrity. She has appeared on MSNBC, ESPN, The Today Show, and Fox News and as a keynote speaker across North America and Europe. Lauren has devoted her career to helping business professionals earn and maintain the trust of their clients, customers, colleagues and associates. An attorney and newly ordained interfaith minister, she lives in Springfield, Virginia.
  • Book Title: Art of the Apology: How, When and Why to Give and Accept Apologies
  • Guest Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurenmbloom
  • Guest Twitter Account: @LaurenMBloom
Admitting You Were Wrong: The Art of the Apology

Do you find yourself apologizing too often? Or, perhaps you're stubborn and don't feel you need to apologize at all?

Interfaith minister and author, Lauren Bloom, joins Andrea and Lisa to help dissect the art of apologizing.

Her new book, Art of the Apology, breaks down how, when and why you should give and accept an apology.

To err is human, of course; and oftentimes mistakes are made. The ramifications of your mistakes can sometimes lead to bad things such as blemishes to your reputation, legal troubles, relationship issues, problems at work, and more.

It's how you handle these mistakes that truly counts.

Covering up a mistake can only snowball and cause further issues, digging yourself a deeper hole out of which to climb.

As politicians helpfully demonstrate on the regular, the cover-up is often worse than the crime.

Knowing when to apologize is crucial. Read the signs. If a person will not talk to you, it is difficult to apologize. Maybe they will listen but are staring right through you... taking the apology in stages is probably best.

Start by saying you're sorry and take responsibility for what you did. Recognize that you will most likely need to circle back in a week or two and ask "Are we OK?"

Ultimately, the best apologies are conversations.

Say the words "I'm sorry." Phrases such as, "I regret the inconvenience" or "Gee, I wish that wouldn't have happened" do not mean all that much. Also, never use the words "if" or "but" when apologizing. IF cuts the legs right out from under your apology and makes it conditional. BUT tends to project the blame onto the other person.

Making a big scene will not work either; it simply makes it all about YOU. Remember, own up to your mistake -- a sincere, heartfelt apology is always your best course of action.

Waiting too long to apologize is never good either. The longer you wait, the less impact your apology will have.

Apologizing is an exercise in honesty, accountability, and compassion. If you follow these steps and are truly sincere, then you too can master the art of the apology the next time you make a mistake.