In the past week, we’ve seen three displays of egregious behavior on television and not one of the offenders offered what we call a ‘clean apology’. They were big on excuses and double talk but not one stepped up to the plate immediately and apologized for their behavior. Their handlers did it for them, tweaking and re-tweaking stiff, souless statements.
Since most of us don’t have handlers and official websites, we're responsible for making our own apologies. It’s really easy and won’t cost a fortune. Just say, “I’m sorry.” Keep your “but” out of it. Once you’ve added that word, you’ve sleazily taken back the apology. You can do it by phone, a note or if you can, in person. Don’t be a coward and apologize to voicemail, keep calling until you reach the person.
If you’re on the receiving end of the apology, accept it; don’t beat down the apologist by rehashing. Simply thank them, or else, you’ll be sorry.