Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Do you get the feeling that good behavior and good manners are almost of out of style in our country? Rude, thoughtless and inconsiderate behavior is a national epidemic that reflects badly on us as individuals and collectively as a society.
In an article titled The Price of Incivility, (Harvard Business Review, January/February 2013 issue) authors Christine Porath and Christine Pearson write, “Nearly everybody who experiences workplace incivility responds in a negative way, in some cases overtly retaliating.”
A critical measure of our success in life is the way we treat one another every day. This includes knowing how to sincerely apologize when we hurt someone either intentionally or accidentally. Righting a wrong speaks not only to our character, it is proof of our character.
How to apologize.
1. Express Remorse
Every apology needs to start with “I’m sorry,” or “I apologize.” This is essential because these words express remorse over our actions. Let the offended person know that inherent in your apology is a promise that you won’t do what you did again – otherwise you are only offering an excuse, not an apology.
2. Admit Responsibility and Acknowledge Your Actions
During an apology, you may be tempted to explain your actions. This can be helpful, but explanations can often serve as excuses which can weaken your apology. Never shift part of the blame onto someone (i.e. “If I have offended you”) in an attempt to reduce responsibility.
3. Make Amends
Although it may not always be possible, do everything you can to make it right. When it is not possible, let the person offended choose the outcome he/she would like to see. It may take the offended person time to process her/his feelings, so don’t expect an instant fix
Bottom Line: Good intentions can create a deeper level of harmony, respect and care for one another and thereby foster a happier life.