Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you might have heard about the current troubles of David Letterman, and his serial apologies he’s made regarding the “joke”(s) he told regarding Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin and her daughters. Last night, Letterman made yet again another attempt at contrition. Color me “unimpressed.” You see, when you apologize, there are a couple of things you must do – and at least one that you must not do:
- Say “I’m sorry.”
- Say “I was wrong.”
- Say “It’s my fault…I accept responsibility for the mistake.”
- Say “I beg your forgiveness.”
- Say “I will do my best to do better, and not make the same mistake again.”
- Do NOT say “I’m sorry, but…” and then go on to offer any excuse.
When you offer an excuse, you’re essentially saying “what I did wasn’t that bad,” “it wasn’t really my fault,” or other weasel-words that attempt to deflect responsibility. [Read more…] about A Guide to Making Apologies.