When an apology is in order, how do leaders in your organization apologize?
We can’t help but notice when it goes poorly. Sometimes, it’s a matter of people (or a person) not ready or able to forgive. And that’s understandable, especially when there is no attempt at restorative justice.
Other times, apologies go sideways when egos get in the way. At best, it falls short as a polished explanation; the apology is an attempt to justify the behavior. This often results in the erosion of trust.
Great leaders—whether they are seasoned executives or untitled leaders—know how to humbly apologize. They understand that mistakes happen and that they are not infallible. Real leaders hold themselves accountable and make amends.
“At its best, an apology is the fruit of personal change, not a tool for interpersonal persuasion.” – Joseph Grenny, author of Crucial Conversations (McGraw-Hill Education; 3rd edition, 2021)
These articles and Article Nuggets explore why apologies can go sideways, the complexities of trust, and how real leadership can offer a real apology.
This is a brief synopsis of a 1,550-word and a 990-word article, and 5-Article Nuggets*, suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.
The complete articles and Article Nuggets include these important concepts:
- The humble apology
- What’s your motivation?
- Understanding trust
- The complexities of trust
- The elements of trustworthy leadership
- The public apology
- The elements of a public apology
- How real leaders apologize
- The elements of a real apology
And references to the following sources:
Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta, The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It (Public Affairs 2021)
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Send us an email and let us know if you’d like to receive this article, Article Nuggets, or Newsletter (as applicable.) It is available in the following formats:
- Real Leadership: Real Apology – 1,550-word Article, $79
- Real Leadership: Real Apology – 990-word article, $57
- Real Leadership: Real Apology – 5-Article Nuggets, $89
*Article Nuggets: The same article broken up into 3-5 blog-style sections suitable for a series of blog posts or shorter newsletter articles.