Communication Matters: Apologies

Oct 22, 2019

You’ve heard people say, “I don’t do apologizes.” And yet, most of us have hurt other people, sometimes inadvertently.

The apology works to confirm the relationship and extend empathy to another person.

Martin Buber, the philosopher, says we are human because of our relationships so apologies are important.

A few things Hocker and Wilmot suggest about apologies:

  1. Acknowledge wrongdoing. “I see now that I hurt you. . .”
  2. Accept, rather than deflect, responsibility. “This is my fault. . .”
  3. Sincere expression of regret or remorse. “I am deeply sorry that my thoughtless action hurt you. . .”
  4. Assure that “this will not happen again.”
  5. Make it up if possible. “Is there anything I can do to make it better?”

A poor apology may cause harm. It helps to Be honest. Be sincere. To see things from the other person’s point of view.