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How Not to Apologize

Have you received an apology by email? How’d that make you feel?

You may have been surprised at how hollow it sounded, even if it was well written and sincere. Why? Because it was an email. It wasn’t a personal visit or phone call. You couldn’t see the face or hear the voice, which would have enabled you to gauge the sincerity and, perhaps, feel something in response. It’s frighteningly easy to dismiss an email apology as less than authentic.

Seems to me that when we make a mistake, we ought to apologize for it from our hearts and minds, not our fingertips. Our businesses -- indeed, our lives -- are founded on relationship. It is crucial that we maintain those that are most precious to us with as much personal contact as we can. There are instances when email just won’t cut it. Apologies fall into that category.

© Melinda Guillemette 2009