Crafting a message that strikes the right tone for your apology can certainly commitment to a resolution, a sincere apology, and resources for.
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2018
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Ms. Winters,
I am extremely sorry for my late arrival at the important sales meeting with The Star Agency last week. My tardiness almost lost us a valuable client.
I understand that, as a sales team, we need to always present ourselves as professional and reliable, and timeliness is a large part of that professionalism. I, therefore, let down the entire sales team with my behavior.
I am currently taking steps to ensure that I am never late again for a client meeting (or any other work-related event). I was delayed due to my car breaking down, so I am getting my car serviced. From now on, I will also be sure to leave for meetings even earlier than I already do, so even in the case of an emergency, I will still be able to arrive on time.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to reassure you and the rest of the company that I greatly value my position on the sales team, and that I will not let the team down again. Thank you so much for your understanding.
Terry Lau (signature hard copy letter)
Unsure of how to go about writing an apology letter? COMPANY NAME], I want to extend my sincerest apologies for the negative experience.
Even in the digital age, nothing says you’re sorry quite like a full-page newspaper ad—and in recent weeks, we’ve seen some nice expressions of the form. In Britain, the grocery giant Tesco took to the presses to beg forgiveness from a grossed-out populace for that horsemeat posing as hamburger it sold. Those ads have been variously mocked and praised for their stabs at poetry, and for such oblique phrases as: “What burgers have taught us.” Stateside, the National Hockey League shelled out for a full-pager in January, following a labor lockout that delayed the start of its games by a few months. In a message that read like a standard form letter, the league promised, “From today forward, we will do everything we can to make this season worth the wait.” It praised the dedication of players and passion of fans—but the ad was lifeless, suggesting that the N.H.L. was just going through the motions. More Tesco-like in its flair is the ad that appeared recently in New England, where the Red Sox bought a page of the Boston Globe to tell fans, in a strangely harrowing bit of prose printed over the stern face of Dustin Pedroia, the team’s second baseman: “What’s Broken Can Be Fixed.”
The ad, and its tagline, which seems more suited as a title of a Raymond Carver story than promotional copy for a baseball team, is part of a larger media strategy leading into the 2013 season. Red Sox management has decided to admit what fans have been saying for a while now: something is indeed broken with the team. Broken on the field, of course, where the Sox finished last in the American League East a season ago, despite spending more on salary than all but two teams in baseball. But broken, too, in a more poignant kind of a crisis—a fracturing of the relationship between the team and its largely fictional workmanlike ideal, and, most urgently, between the team and its fans. Call it ennui, or brand confusion, or as close to an existential dilemma as a professional sports franchise has the right to claim.
For many years following the 2004 World Series win, preseason commercials on the Sox cable network reflected the team’s status as beloved winners—and tickets to Fenway were snapped up right as they went on sale, making the house ads calling fans to the ballpark seem like obligatory filler inserted to put some distance between spots for competing furniture stores. This spring, the team’s commercials express mild hope mixed with a heavy dose of self-flagellation. Old hands vaguely apologize: “It’s starting over, starting fresh.” New acquisitions disparage a past they had no part in: “It’s a whole new team. New coaches.” In the most vivid spot, the team’s new manager, John Farrell, is shown toiling at his desk late into the night, at work under a single lamp—doing what exactly, it’s not clear. Rearranging lineups? Inventing new statistical models? Doodling imaginary replacements for David Ortiz? What is obvious is that he is toiling—for us! I’ll never rest until I’ve done everything to help this team win, he promises, as if campaigning for an office he already holds.
Like everything else in the current Red Sox regime, the message is unsubtle and well coördinated. In February, the team’s management presented its new face to reporters at spring training in Florida. President and C.E.O. Larry Lucchino explained the genesis of Grovel Tour 2013:
It’s a marketing slogan, but I think this one has the added virtue of being true and transparent. That we know that the last year and the final month of the preceding year were the beginning of a very downward trend for this franchise—a historic collapse, a disastrous 2012. That it was no secret that things needed to be repaired, reset, rebuilt, reloaded, whatever words you want to use, and acknowledging it was probably an honest way to start the season.
Truth, transparency, honesty—it is not hard to imagine the Sox bosses meeting with their P.R. people, going over the ways in which they could project sincere regret, and brainstorming about all the R-words out there that suggested, well, rebirth? Lucchino even managed to connect this narrative of waywardness back to the baseball diamond, noting that last year’s team-wide decline in on-base percentage to its lowest level since 1992 reflected the franchise’s deviation from its blue-collar roots. This kind of weighty hokum—baseball as morality play—is normally favored by bored sportswriters or emotive fans gazing at the bottom of their fourth Narragansett. This season, it will be club policy.
All this is, presumably, what the angry fans wanted: a little humbling of the powerful, some assurance that things will be different. And it’s what they’ve come to expect: the public apology is an essential part of American sports. Athletes are fundamentally not relatable, even when they behave impeccably. They are bigger and stronger and faster and more vigorous and wealthy than their fans, who often envy their favorite players as much as they admire them. When an athlete transgresses—cheats on his wife, or takes drugs, or skips practice, or loafs in a game—an already tenuous relationship is threatened with ruin. And so a player gets paired with an interviewer, or steps to a podium, and rends his expensive garments and mouths all the platitudes and gives himself over to the revenge fantasy—the callous hero laid low—that fans think they long to see.
Franchises and sports leagues are even less relatable than their players: fans may be suspicious of players, but we often feel downright hostile toward their corporate bosses. They’re the ones who charge us hundreds of bucks for seats and a dozen bucks for a beer, who trade away our favorite players, and fool our politicians into makings us pay for stadiums we can’t afford. Yet these massive business enterprises also own the rights, in effect, to some of our favorite colors and fondest memories. It’s a complicated relationship, in which fans are treated like customers but told they are members of a family. When a team wins, that relationship works well. When it loses, things can get very tense very quickly.
Last April, after his team missed the playoffs for a seventh straight season, the Toronto Maple Leafs chairman posted an open letter, noting that the franchise is “a public trust with the greatest fans in the world. We have fallen short of everyone’s expectations, and for that we are sorry.” The letter was met with derision. The Leafs are the most valuable franchise in hockey, with the most expensive and hardest-to-get tickets. They are a national symbol—and for decades now, a national disgrace. They owed their fans a blanket, lifetime apology, so why start now?
When franchises self-identify as a “public trust,” they’re not just manipulating sentiment—they’re falsely defining the terms of their existence. We owe you better, they say, because we are so much more than a business. In this way, the apology campaigns are similar to the Clint Eastwood “Halftime in America” Chrysler ad that ran during the 2012 Super Bowl, which transformed “Detroit”—and, by extension, Chrysler’s cars—into a nostalgic idea about American greatness. (It’s no surprise that Mitt Romney hoped Eastwood would reprise this speech at the Republican National Convention.) This is both clever and false. Detroit is just a city; Chrysler just sells cars. And the Maple Leafs and Red Sox are just sports teams.
Yet even while they try to emphasize a tribal connection, teams can’t help but acknowledge the real terms of the relationship. At the bottom of the Red Sox’s apology in the Globe were the words that will pay for the ad buy many times over: “Summer tickets on sale now.”
You screwed up. Now it’s time to own it. Knowing how to apologize is a crucial life and career skill. But when you write an apology letter, creating a permanent record of an event and your response to it, it’s all the more important that you get it right.
Apologizing is an art form few of us seem to master. We don’t want to admit our mistakes because we think that making mistakes reflects badly on our character. But the truth is, not apologizing, or making a feeble non-apology, is often worse.
There are a few reasons you may struggle with apologies:
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The good news is that when you put your apology in writing, you have the luxury of polishing and editing your thoughts so that they say precisely what you mean to convey.
Sorry does seem to be the hardest word, but if you can master these steps in the apology process, you’re sure to make a good impression. These guidelines apply whether you’re apologizing for a personal error, or you’re writing an apology on behalf of a team or business.
—If You Want to Know How to Apologize, First Do This…
It’s as easy (and as hard) as that. No minimizing, no shifting blame, no defenses. Now, let’s take a look at some apology letter examples that follow this format.
Before you begin writing, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. First, keep your letter brief and to the point. Don’t ramble on about what happened—distill it to the essentials. Don’t exaggerate, either. There’s no need to fall on your sword. But do keep your language respectful, sincere, and professional.
If you supervise an employee who made a mistake and find yourself apologizing to a customer or client, it’s important that you take responsibility without dumping all the blame on the employee. After all, what your employees do reflects your leadership.
Sometimes, you have to own up to something you did that hurt or inconvenienced another person. We’ve all been there. Keep it simple. Don’t make excuses. Show that you’re trying to improve.
It’s horrifying to think about, but sometimes you end up upsetting a group of people rather than just one person. As with all apology letters, It’s important not to say, “I’m sorry if anyone felt offended.” (That’s like saying, “It’s too bad some of you don’t know how to handle my personality.”) Instead, say, “I’m sorry that I offended anyone.”
Here is an example of an apology letter for being late for work, when to apologize , plus A good manager who receives a sincere apology will generally use the.
Relationships can be wonderful buffers against stress, but relationship conflicts can cause considerable emotional pain and stress. Knowing how to apologize—and when—can repair damage in a relationship, but if you don't know how to apologize sincerely, you can actually make things worse. Effective apologies are simple if you know what to say.
Here are some easy steps to help you learn how to apologize sincerely and effectively.
When you've made a mistake or hurt another person, there are many good reasons why you should apologize. By apologizing, you are able to:
A sincere apology can also bring relief, particularly if you have guilt over your actions. An apology alone doesn't erase the hurt or make it ok; it does establish that you know your actions or words were wrong and that you will strive harder in the future to prevent it from happening again.
Not apologizing when you are wrong can be damaging to your personal and professional relationships. It can also lead to rumination, anger, resentment, and hostility that may only grow over time.
Why Apologies Are Important
Knowing when to apologize is as important as knowing how to apologize. Generally speaking, if you suspect that something you did —on purpose or by accident—caused someone else hard feelings, it's a good idea to apologize and clear the air.
If what you did would have bothered you if it was done to you, an apology is clearly in order. If you're not sure, an apology offers you the chance to "own" mistakes you made, but re-establish what you think was okay. If you feel the other person is being unreasonable, a discussion may be in order. You can decide where you stand on the apology after that.
While a sincere apology can go a long way toward mending a relationship, people are often unwilling or unable to take this step. Admitting you were wrong can be difficult and humbling.
Researchers have found that people who believe that personality is changeable are more likely to apologize for harmful actions. Because they feel that change is possible, they feel that accepting the blame for their mistakes is an opportunity for learning and growth.
Taking responsibility means acknowledging mistakes you made that hurt the other person, and it's one of the most important and neglected ingredients of most apologies, especially those in the media.
Saying something vague like, “I’m sorry if you were offended by something I said,” implies that the hurt feelings were a random reaction on the part of the other person. Saying, “When I said [the hurtful thing], I wasn’t thinking. I realize I hurt your feelings, and I’m sorry,” acknowledges that you know what it was you said that hurt the other person, and you take responsibility for it.
When seeking to understand how to apologize effectively, it’s also important to understand the value of expressing regret. Taking responsibility is important, but it’s also helpful for the other person to know that you feel bad about hurting them, and wish you hadn’t. That’s it. They already feel bad, and they’d like to know that you feel bad about them feeling bad.
These are all expressions of regret that add to the sincerity of your apology and let the other person know you care.
If there’s anything you can do to amend the situation, do it. It’s important to know how to apologize with sincerity, and part of the sincerity of an apology is a willingness to put some action into it. If you broke something of someone’s, see if you can replace it. If you said something hurtful, say some nice things that can help to generate more positive feelings. If you broke trust, see what you can do to rebuild it. Whatever you can do to make things better, do it.
If you’re not sure what would help, ask the other person what you can do to help them to feel better.
One of the most important parts of an apology—one of the best reasons to apologize—is to reaffirm boundaries. Healthy boundaries are important in any relationship. When you come into conflict with someone, usually there is a boundary that is crossed. If a social rule is violated or trust is broken, an apology helps to affirm what kind of future behavior is preferred.
Discussing what type of rules you both will adhere to in the future will rebuild trust, boundaries, and positive feelings, and provides a natural segue out of the conflict, and into a happier future in the relationship.
Remember that when you apologize, you're taking responsibility for your part of the conflict. That doesn't mean that you're admitting that the entire conflict was your fault. People are often afraid to apologize first because they think whoever apologizes first is "more wrong" or the "loser" of the conflict.
Giving an apology even when only a small part of the conflict was your responsibility is okay, and often healthy. It allows you to establish what you regret your own actions but confirms your own boundaries as well.
It's important to be fair in your apology, both to the other person and to yourself. Don't accept all the blame if it isn't all your fault.
When you apologize for just what you did, you can more easily move forward and put the conflict behind you, regardless of the other person's actions. When we apologize, we're able to more easily maintain the integrity and forgive ourselves. The other person may be moved to apologize for their actions as well. While getting an apology is often nice, it is important to remember that this doesn't always happen. Trying to evoke an apology from the other person is a manipulative tactic that sometimes backfires.
Although apologizing can be a way to maintain the integrity and move on from actions we're not proud of, most of us also want to repair the relationship and be forgiven. Sometimes this doesn't happen. If the apology was sincere and included the necessary ingredients, your chances of forgiveness are greater, but sometimes the other person just isn't ready or able to forgive and move on. Or they may forgive you, but still, be guarded. Or they may not realize their own role in the conflict.
Realize that you can't control their response, and if you've done everything you can, let it go for now.
Apologies are not always easy, but that can be an important part of mending or maintaining important relationships. With empathy, an open heart, and a dose of courage, you can take the steps you need to make a sincere and honest apology.
How to Forgive Others
Research suggests that some of the major reasons why people don't apologize are that they aren't really concerned about the other person, apologizing threatens their own self-image, or they believe that an apology won't do any good anyway.
Don't make assumptions and don't try to shift the blame. Make it clear that you regret your actions and that you are sincerely sorry.
Apologize for your own peace of mind and the other person may be inspired to do the same. Just don't apologize just because you expect an apology in return.
Thanks for your feedback!
If you're really sorry and sincere, apologize all of the ways listed below. If your partner refuses to meet, then start by writing a letter and sending.