The Elements Of A Good Apology
My daughter-in-law who has a career in education (first as a class-room teacher, now a school psychologist) reports to us a variety of experiences that hold our interest. A few years ago, a little boy wrote this essay to “Mrs. Sydney.”
Beyond the entertainment value, a more serious look at this exhibits the elements of a good apology.
- He understands he has been bad. An apology needs to be more than just dismissing an awkward event. The one issuing the apology needs to understand the wrong being confessed.
- He resolves to “do better.” I wonder how many apologies have been offered without any follow-through or correction? This little boy understands he has been bad and resolves to “do better.” Good for him.
- He firms up his resolve: “I will stop.” Stopping bad behavior is clear in his mind and he doesn’t want bad behavior to interfere with his “tru potential.”
- He is specific: “I will try to be quiet while you’r talking.” This is no generic, dismissive, impulsive apology. He is specific in his recognition of wrongs.
- He acknowledges the need for education and good listening: “…cause what if I miss the lesson or instructions, I will not know what to do…”
- Finally, he politely asks for a response: “Good? Yes or No.” Sydney responded.
This little boy teaches Apology 101 right on that page he turned in. There is great hope for him. What about adults?