The Three A's of Apologies
You made a decision that led to unfavorable results, and you must apologize for the action. To move forward, follow the three A’s of apologies recommended by a globally recognized leadership educator and coach.
“Every good apology has three operative elements: acknowledgment, acceptance, and amends,” John Baldoni writes in SmartBrief.
- Acknowledgement. Acknowledge the situation and say you are sorry for what happened.
- Acceptance. Hold yourself accountable and work to rectify the situation. Good apologies refrain from finger-pointing and excuses. “A senior leader often makes an apology, even when she may not be directly responsible. But as the top person, it becomes your job to own the situation,” Baldoni writes. “Instead, you swallow your pride, and you take the heat.” He goes on to explain that providing backstory is acceptable as long as it provides context, not an excuse.
- Amends. Talk about what you will do and start working on corrective measures. “It’s not about you. It’s about them,” Baldoni writes. “They want to know that the person responsible for the error is focused on making things better.”
Doing these three A’s demonstrate your strength of character and will lead you forward. “No leader makes the right calls at the right time,” Baldoni states. “But great leaders make things right when things go wrong.”