Apology What is it? How to make it? When to make it? Any negative legal consequences? with a focus on negotiation and conflict resolution
Apology defined: "an acknowledgment intended as an atonement for some improper or injurious remark or act; an admission to another of a wrong or discourtesy done him accompanied by an expression of regret."
Timing – When to apologize? As soon as possible? If too quick, it loses power and legitimacy. There should be some analysis and introspection A tension. The offender may need time in order to reflect upon the harm done, form true remorse for the offense, and prepare a heartfelt apology, but the more an apology is delayed the more profound the offense may seem in the eyes of the victim.
The One Minute Apology What mistakes did I make? Did I dismiss another person, their wishes, feelings, or ideas? Did I take credit when it was not due? Why did I do this? Was it an impulsive, thoughtless act? Was it calculated? Was it a result of my fear, anger, or frustration? What was my motivation? How long have I let this go on? Is this the first or repeated time? Is this behavior becoming a pattern in my life? What is the truth I am not dealing with? Am I better than this behavior? --------------- A business approach Ken Blanchard & Margret McBride, The One Minute Apology (2003)
Apology in Mediation Deborah Levi “Tactical" (acknowledging the victim's suffering in order to gain credibility and influence the victim's bargaining behavior) “Explanation" (attempting to excuse the offender's behavior and make the other party understand that behavior); “Formalistic" (capitulating to the demand of an authority figure); “Happy-ending" (accepting responsibility and expressing regret for the bad act). The Role of Apology in Mediation, 72 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1165, 1172-75 (1997)
Apology in Mediation Deborah Levi "tactical" (acknowledging the victim's suffering in order to gain credibility and influence the victim's bargaining behavior) “I’m sorry but [I didn’t do anything wrong.]” "explanation" (attempting to excuse the offender's behavior and make the other party understand that behavior); “I [here’s my excuse].” "formalistic" (capitulating to the demand of an authority figure); Says the requested words. Tell you sister you are sorry. “I’m sorry Hope.” –said sarcastically. "happy-ending" (accepting responsibility and expressing regret for the bad act). Hearer is convinced the speaker believes she was at least partially responsible and the speaker feels regret. The Role of Apology in Mediation, 72 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1165, 1172-75 (1997)
An Effective Apology 1. Acknowledges legitimacy of the violated rule and articulates that rule 2. Admits fault 3. Expresses genuine remorse by Lee Taft
Do you apologize for the HARM that you did? or The ACT you did?
An Effective Apology 1. Acknowledgment 2. Explanation 3. Remorse, shame, and humility 4. Reparation by Aaron Lazare
An Effective Apology 1. A valid acknowledgment of the offense 2. An effective explanation 3. Expressions of remorse, shame, and humility 4. A reparation of some kind
1. A valid acknowledgment of the offense A valid acknowledgment of the offense that makes clear who the offender is and who is the offended. The offender must clearly and completely acknowledge the offense. Not “for whatever I did” – vague and incomplete “mistakes were made” - - passive voice “if mistakes have been made” - conditional “to the degree you were hurt” – question the damage “only a few were at fault”- minimize the offense “sorry” - to the wrong party or for the wrong offense
2. An effective explanation An effective explanation, which shows an offense was neither intentional nor personal, and is unlikely to recur. “There is no excuse.” Explain how you will make sure that it will not happen again. Not: “I wasn’t thinking.”
3. Expressions of remorse, shame, and humility Expressions of remorse, shame, and humility, which show that the offender recognizes the suffering of the offended “It will not happen again.” “I should have know better.”
4. A reparation of some kind A reparation of some kind, in the form of a real or symbolic compensation for the offender's transgression. If real damage: replace or restore If damage is symbolic or irreversible: a gift, an honor, financial exchange, commitment to change one’s ways, tangible punishment of the guilty party.
An effective apology satisfies at least one of the following psychological needs of an offended person 1. The restoration of dignity in the offended person. 2. The affirmation that both parties have shared values and agree that the harm committed was wrong. 3. Validation that the victim was not responsible for the offense. 4. The assurance that the offended party is safe from a repeat offense. 5. Reparative justice: the offended sees the offending party suffer some punishment. 6. Reparation: the victim receives some form of compensation for the pain. 7. A dialogue that allows the offended party to express feelings toward the offender and to grieve over losses.
Legal Concerns Saying “I’m sorry” can be used against you in court to argue you were at fault, and therefore liable in a lawsuit. A growing body of statutes designed to allow for “safe” apologies that can not be used against the apologizer –especially medical malpractice for doctors
Exercises Construct an apology –for the Barkai loan –for a business mistake –For a friend –For a disputant in mediation
Barkai $800 Loan Barkai You went to your friend’s demanded the money back in front of several people. You were embarrassed when told to leave your friend’s office and are angry because you have not been repaid. You thought you could trust your friend. You said you would “Take ‘em to court.” Other Disputant You were surprised, angry, and embarrassed by Barkai's actions at your office. It was unnecessary. You think you lost face in front of your co-workers. Barkai should have discussed the matter privately with you. You were planning to pay it back soon. You told Barkai to leave.
The Baby Self No patience No self-control Self-centered, piggy, and clueless Lives for the present Accepts only perfection Has unrealistic expectations The Baby Self wants to control everything and everybody, always.
You convey simple information “I’m sorry I’m late.”
The other person has something more to say “You are always late.”
You feel the need to answer back. “I’m not always late.”
They respond to your response “You are always late.”
You respond again, and so do they You: “You’re exaggerating.” Them: “No. What about last Thursday? What about when I was supposed to meet you for dinner at 6 p.m.?”
Another example “Please pass the salt.” “Why can’t you reach it yourself?” “Why can’t I reach it myself?” “Yeah, you are the one who wants the salt.” What is your problem? Do you have to be difficult on purpose?” “What is your problem?”
"You forgot to buy milk!" "You never said anything about milk." "Yes, I definitely did. You never listen.“ "I do too listen. You never said milk." "No, I did say milk. You just don't listen."
The “Shut Up” approach You: “I’m sorry I’m late.” Them: “You’re always late.” - not defending yourself: You: “I’m sorry.” Then say no more.
The Number One Warning Sign: The feeling that you absolutely must get them to see it your way. 'I can't shut up, I can't move on, and I can't leave it,'"
Guidelines Think: Stop talking if there is nothing to be gained (and lots to be lost). Don't repeat yourself. Make your point once (and sit down / shut up). Don't take their bait. Don’t get sidetracked. Ignore it. "You're just like your father" or "You always say that!" Give your advice once and move on. Don't require them to recognize it as the most brilliant suggestion ever..
Get “the last word” the way introverts do, in Your Own Head!
The vast majority of adult arguments between close friends or couples do not end with instant solutions (if they end at all)
The end hidden slides On the Slides tab in normal view, select the slide you want to hide.view On the Slide Show menu, click Hide Slide. The hidden slide icon appears with the slide number inside, next to the slide you have hidden
It comes from an irrational but powerful fear of being misunderstood or abandoned by people we count on the most.
Justifications for not letting go Because I’m right It’s not fair Our endless list of grievances It’s okay if you…but if I… “I would have never done that” “She doesn’t do her share (by my standards)
People don’t change. They are the unreturnable item you picked out at the store and brought home. When misfortune occurs, it is a natural reaction for us to seek out someone to blame, but it is not always our best option. Bad is bad. And, we need to get past it and not dwell on it. Maybe they are being unfair (from your point of view), and the relationship is the relationship be basically ok. At some point, you need to let go.
Other problems Not so useful responses to misfortune –Holding on to hurt Accepting blame Accepting less –Other couples seem to have it better –I shouldn’t have to ask (if he really cared about me) Friends and relatives No one wants our good advice
In the midst of arguments: you demand agreement insist they accept your interpretation relentlessly push your point And you can't stop.
When arguing begins -- in fact, as soon as you feel irritated -- disengage. "What is necessary with arguments is not that they resolve, but that they end."
Good Arguments 1.Each person gets to make their point 2.Each person gets heard by the other 3.The argument ends
In the middle of not getting your way,, it's useful to ask the question: is this simply me not getting my way, or do I have a legitimate grievance? Just asking the question engages the mature self. Your baby self will go down screaming,, but move on. Keeping a mental ledger of past grievances is a recipe for bitterness. Pursuing past injustices only makes matters worse. When you don't get hung up on unfairness, a funny thing happens: the passage of time makes it far less relevant. It is the nature of arguing to believe that you are right and the other person is wrong. Arguments are about proving our case. But when "right and wrong enter the argument, it becomes more personal; each participant feels under attack. Each feels more hurt, angrier and hence more compelled to counterattack. Move away from moral imperatives, and start to weigh the cost and benefits, not whether you're right or wrong. Resolution becomes far more possible when you ask: "How much do I want it? How willing am I to take this loss? Is there any way I can compromise? Recognize that your baby self is "self-centered, piggy and clueless, and you'll start to see that you don't always have to give in to its demands.
The result? Peace, positive dialogue, and happier relationships all around-even if deep down you know" "you are right!
SHUT UP! Disengage "You forgot to buy milk!" "You never said anything about milk." "Yes, I definitely did. You never listen." "I do too listen. You never said milk." "No, I did say milk. You just don't listen." We've all been in situations like this one — when a loved one unintentionally provokes a confrontation. What do we do? We stand our ground, push our point, and underscore our reasons. We do it because we know we're right. What is it, deep inside our being, that refuses to budge, to give in, or to shut up before we're embroiled in a fight we don't want? Meet your baby self. According to Dr. Anthony Wolf, this childish personality comes out at home, at work, and in social settings — with spouses, significant others, colleagues, and even friends. The baby self doesn't know when to back down, it doesn't compromise, and it can lead you to make rash and, usually, wrong decisions. In this humorous, helpful, and eye-opening guide, you'll learn how to deal with your baby self when it wreaks havoc on your life. Dr. Wolf provides alternate ways of responding to others when your baby self is ready to scream: It's not fair! It's not my fault! You are wrong! He offers ways to avoid the traps that sabotage all relationships, helps us recognize the false reasons we trick ourselves into thinking we are right, and teaches us how to let our mature side do the talking. With scores of examples of how innocent day-to-day conversations can erupt into conflagrations, Dr. Wolf shows you how to disengage fast and easily. The result? Peace, positive dialogue, and happier relationships all around — even if deep down you know you are right!
Two faces of teens Teenagers regularly switch between their 'baby-self' and 'mature-self' images By Susan Reimer Those of us who are convinced that our teenagers have at least two personalities - the polished one they show to teachers and other parents and the grumpy one they inflict on us - are right. This Eddie Haskell syndrome, according to psychologist and best-selling author Anthony Wolf, is normal and, if we were honest, it is something we would recognise in ourselves. "We all have two modes of operation," Wolf says. "There is the 'baby-self', the at-home, relaxed, unwinding version of ourselves. The one who wants to be fed and get nurtured and not be bothered. "And there is the 'mature-self' the one we are all day. The working, delayed-gratification self, who has self-control and who can tolerate stress. "There is a real switching of gears when we walk in the door, and it is that way for our kids, too." Wolf's first book, Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, was a hilarious roller coaster ride through the mind and moods of a teenager and the slim paperback became the underground, word-of-mouth Bible of parents in the grip of their children's adolescence. His new book is The Secret of Parenting: How to Be in Charge of Today's Kids -From Toddlers to Pre-Teens Without Threats or punishment, and it describes, with the same uncanny ear for kid-parent dialogue, this 'baby-self' that children become the minute they drop their backpacks in the front hall. For the baby-self, anything is too hard, everything is an irritant. They crave the deep nurturing they need to be the mature-self at school and in the world. Home is the hyperbolic chamber for the baby-self. It can't tolerate any intrusion or any demands during this refuelling stop. The baby-self wants what it wants. "When the baby-self isn't getting his way, he can be very unpleasant, " Wolf says, in a huge understatement. "Would you rather have the mature-self at home with you? Sure you would. But you don't have a choice. " We can all recognise the baby-self Wolf describes: Demanding, whining, uncooperative, irritable, lazy and capable of launching an emotional hand grenade at the parent if she doesn't get her way: "You wouldn't treat me like this if I wasn't adopted." "Baby-selves have no conscience. They are ruthless," Wolf says. "They will use any weapon say anything." This spoiled-rotten behaviour does not mean we are bad parents or that our children are monsters. In fact, if we had a videotape of the way our child behaves at school or at a friend's dinner table, we'd be astonished. "That's because our child's mature-self is in command when he is out in the world." The good news, Wolf says, is that mature-self is a sneak preview of the adult your child will grow up to be. In the meantime, interacting with the baby-self at home is very frustrating for parents. The only answer is to reduce that interaction. "When baby-selves are not getting their way, they will resort to anything. But they will always settle for second prize, which is you," Wolf says. If they can't get what they want, they can at least engage their parent in a long, drawn-out argument. We see it as fighting. The baby-self sees it as special time with Mom when the baby-self has her undivided attention. "What the baby-self hates more than anything else is to separate from you," Wolf says, and this goes for teenagers as well as toddlers. "They will never let go. And they will never let go first." The solution is to disengage - fast. Make a decision, state it and then shut up. Don't let yourself get drawn into a discussion. Don't try to defend or explain yourself. "The baby-self won't disengage. After years of trial and error, they have crafted just the custom-tailored argument that will provoke you," Wolf says. And they will run you into the ground on the topic because they have nothing to lose and nothing better to do. "The longer this process takes, the more the baby-self comes out and the more unpleasant it becomes." If we begin to think of our obstinate, combative teens as outsized toddlers, it is much easier not to view their bad moods, verbal darts and whining as a judgment on the job we are doing as parents, as a measure of their love for us or as a preview of what kind of adults they will be. If we imagine them in their footed sleepers, it is easier not to be hurt by these sometimes painful exchanges. The problem with this approach, however, is that when we come home at the end of the day, we are looking to shed our suits and pantyhose for the emotional equivalent of footed sleepers, too. Parents, who are mature selves all day at work or in public want to be baby-selves at home, just like the kids. All of us have listened with astonishment as a teacher or another adult describes our child as bright, conversant, cooperative and delightful company. "You are talking about my child, right?" we ask, certain there has been a mistake. Wolf gives us hope when he writes with absolute certainty that this phantom child is a preview of the adult our child will become.