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How to Apologize the Right and Wrong Way


Learn tips for offering an effective apology and the importance of providing a sincere acknowledgement.

Giving and receiving an apology is one of the pinnacles of communications that bind human relationships. When you mess up; you accept responsibility. Knowing how to apologize, and when, can help repair damage in a relationship. There is, however, a right way and a wrong way to make an apology. If you go down the path of making an insincere apology, you can actually make things worse. Whether you are requesting an apology or considering giving one, it is important to realize that a thoughtful apology can mend a relationship while a thoughtless one may cause further conflict. An apology can often be the first step to a better understanding in a damaged relationship. It says that you share values regarding appropriate behavior towards each other and that you have regrets when you don't behave according to those values. When you harm someone, an apology demonstrates that you are prepared to reconcile and do something to rectify the situation. If you have ever been offended, you probably know how far a simple apology can go in restoring trust in a relationship. You may also know, if you have been on the other side of the equation, how difficult it can be to offer an apology or to admit that you have done something wrong. This topic will provide some tips for offering an effective apology and the importance of providing a sincere acknowledgement. We will explore when and why you should apologize, and why that timing can be critical; as an apology delayed may be an opportunity lost. Remember, in the realm of communication and relationship building, a favorable apology can be beneficial, but it is only the beginning, not an end.



Larry Hammond, Sr.

Larry Hammond, Sr.

V1H Consulting

  • Principal with V1H Consulting
  • Through his workshops, strategy sessions, and keynote addresses, he focuses on helping organizations that are stuck in the way it has always been done and thinking without ever achieving true satisfaction to transform
  • By producing an organizational culture that creates a contagious leadership environment, he helps them to achieve maximum performance, increased employee retention, and heightened employee engagement
  • More than 20 years of senior leadership, coaching, training, and development experience
  • Mentor in business, marketing, sales, human resources, entrepreneurship, and leadership in public agencies and community organizations
  • Facilitated management and employee feedback sessions
  • Coaches leaders and managers in public and private industries around team building and culture development
  • Developed, delivered, and evaluated a variety of training seminars; including customer service, change management, strategic planning, leadership development, and public speaking
  • Provided leadership training to Leadership Pasadena, a leadership program that empowers, inspires, and connects leaders who strengthen a diverse community
  • Designed, developed, and delivered management and leadership programs for managers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors that helped clients improve employee and organizational performance
  • Certified in Managing Organizational Change (MOC)
  • 34 strong certified strengths coach
  • M.A. degree in public administration, The Tseng College; graduate, international, at California State University, Northridge; B.S. degree, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA; completed graduate courses in public administration, Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and in information technology, University of the District of Columbia
  • Can be contacted at 626-379-4108 or [email protected]

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