We live in a society where it’s the norm for celebrities to be on the front cover of every news outlet available. They mess up then apologies. Another messes up then apologies then another and yet another.
One of the more interesting shows in my opinion is a show where the hosts try to catch contractors who give the homeowner a low bid to get the job, take the money, then screw the homeowner by not completing the work. By the end of the show they catch the guy, make him finish the work, and the contractor apologies to the homeowner. Not at all surprising, the homeowner rarely accepts the apology. Why is don’t they forgive them?
Because they are CHEAP APOLOGIES!
Cheap apologies may sound something like:
“I made some mistakes.”
“I’m sorry how this all turned out.”
“Mistakes were made and I apologize.”
“I wish this wouldn’t have played out like it did.”
“That’s not who I am.”
“That’s not how I was raised.”
“I was in a really tight spot.”
“I wish the circumstances were different.”
When a mistake is made, “I made a mistake and I’m sorry” is sufficient. Mistakes are easy to forgive because they are unintentional. Most people do not ever know why their apology did not seem to have any effect. It is simply that they did not make a mistake; they made a choice… and they never understand the difference between the two. That celebrity made a choice to have an adulterous affair, that contractor made choice to steal money, and that leader made a choice to make someone else suffer for their own selfish desires.
As a leader you can’t afford to make cheap apologies. Your character is on the line. Own your apology like a person who WANTS to have a good foundation in self-respect. “I made a selfish choice and it had a negative impact on everyone involved. I’m embarrassed and truly remorseful. Here are some steps I’m taking to make it right and ensure it doesn’t happen again.”