Apologizing properly isn’t angelic. It’s a skill that can be learned. Consider this: B2B methods and verticals are dependent on relationship management. Long term, fully expressive, mutually beneficial dealings between vendors and customers is at the heart of account-based marketing, SAAS contracts and permission-based automation services.
Whenever and wherever there is a long-term relationship between human beings, mistakes happen. Recovering from those mistakes is necessary and recovery demands the ability to apologize in a way that is meaningful to all parties involved.
Science has the answer to apologizing properly, says a new study conducted by Roy Lewicki, Professor Emeritus, Management and Human Resources at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
In two experiments, Lewicki and his co-authors observed the reactions of 755 people to apologies containing between one and six of the following components of a meaningful apology:
- Expression of regret
- Explanation of what went wrong
- Acknowledgment of responsibility
- Declaration of repentance
- Offer of repair
- Request for forgiveness
The result? “Apologies really do work, but you should make sure you hit as many of the six key components as possible,” says Lewicki.