August 26, 2010

How to Apologize

 Ombuds often coach a visitor to apologize or facilitate an apology from one or more parties.

Over at, Vivian Scott says that an effective apology has four elements:

  1. Explicit details,
  2. A demonstration that your regret is about your actions and not his reactions,
  3. A promise that it won’t happen again, and
  4. An offer to make up for your behavior.
Scott, who is the author of Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies, says that a good apology can not only repair a broken alliance but it can stand as the beginning of a very productive relationship. (

1 comment:

  1. See Also:

    The detailed advisory crafted by Marsha Wagner, OO of Columbia University, to which many of us link:

    And ... caveat ... for those of us who serve world citizens, apologies may or may not be consonant with local culture.