The Most Effective Ways to Make It Right When You Screw Up
After promising your boss you would complete an important assignment on time, you realize you’re behind and it’s going to be late. You unintentionally leave a colleague out of the loop on a joint project, causing him or her to feel frustrated and a bit betrayed. On the subway, you aren’t paying attention and accidentally spill hot coffee all over a stranger’s expensive suit. It’s time for a mea culpa.
Apologies are tricky. Done right, they can resolve conflict, repair hurt feelings, foster forgiveness, and improve relationships. An apology can even keep you out of the courtroom. Despite the fact that lawyers often caution their clients to avoid apologies, fearing that they are tantamount to an admission of guilt, studies show that when potential plaintiffs receive an apology, they are more likely to settle out of court for less money.