There's A Right Way to Say “I'm Sorry”

Did you know that a good apology has six different components? A new study completed by Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, revealed the ingredients of an effective apology. The study shows that those who incorporate more of these components into their apologies have a better chance of being forgiven.

In order to offer a “good” apology, one needs to know the components that will make it more effective. According to the study, the apology should include: expression of regret, explanation of what went wrong, acknowledgment of responsibility, declaration of repentance, offer of repair, and request for forgiveness.

Lead author of the study Roy Lewicki said “our findings showed that the most important component is an acknowledgement of responsibility. Say it is your fault, that you made a mistake.”

Subjects in the study were given an apology written by a potential candidate for a job who had misfiled a client’s tax return forms. When the apology had most of the six components, the subjects were more likely to forgive the candidate. The fewer components in the apology, the smaller the chance the candidate had of being forgiven.

“Apologies really do work, but you should make sure you hit as many of the six key components as possible,” said Lewicki. So, next time you find yourself in the wrong, make sure you remember the six components of an effective apology.

[Source: Science Daily]