Tips on how to apologize

Sorry by HypnoArt is in the public domain (CC0 1.0)

Let’s face it, we all goof up sometimes whether by insulting a client, dropping the ball on a project, or the good ol’ engage mouth before engaging brain routine.

To repair the damage, especially in the work environment, an apology is needed.

The Journal of Accountancy on 9/25/17 offered some great suggestions on How to make a professional apology.

Here are a few of the multiple tips suggested.


Another example of the right way to apologize and own your errors

I dislike the way many people try to apologize today. The typical “I’m sorry if you were offended” is not an apology. Not even close.

Here is a superb illustration of the right way to apologize. Check out Via Meadia Blew It.

I missed the original issue, but apparently a Via Meadia post unjustly insulted another journalist. Look at the first part of the key apology paragraph:


This is how you apologize

In its October 22 edition, The Economist issues An Apology to Rachid Ghannouchi.

The magazine restated two comments it made the previous week.  I’m not tracking the backstory, but am interested in what is happening in Tunisia.  I’m don’t understand the implications of the statements, but guess there are some major side issues.  However, the magazine then says they were wrong.

We accept that neither of these statements is true: Mr Ghannouchi has expressly said that he accepts the Code of Personal Status; and he never threatened to hang Ms bin Salama.

No quibbling. No ‘we were misunderstood.’ No ‘we misstated our idea.’


Great example on how to apologize. Also, how to own your problem.

After the Cooks Source fiasco discussed here and other posts, it is delightful to see a company that knows how to apologize and takes clear ownership of their problem.

37signals provides a number of collaborative software products.  I don’t use their services, but I thoroughly enjoyed a book they wrote on the lessons they have learned in their business.  Enjoyed it so much I wrote an Amazon review, which I discussed here.  I read their blog everyday.  I heartily recommend it.

Anyway, last November and December their flagship program had a lot of intermittent outages.