2.08.2006

TIP: When you "blow it"

Thanks to her apology, Oprah is the only one who seems to be emerging from the James Frey scandal smelling like a rose, Jane Genova blogged. A genius in human relations, Oprah knew the power of an apology. Yeah, it's totally disarming. When I worked in the hospitality industry, apology was the only tactic that never ever ever failed.

Unfortunately, in a number of legal circles, apology is underused or verboten. The most some attorneys will allow us to do is express regret. Forget that. Apologies can make perfect legal sense. What matters is how you position/package your apology... strategically apply the power of apology to communicating their point of view. They can do this with ease, grace and no legal reservations, if they get the mindset that an apology is form of empathy... The apology has many genres... The key here is to play around with the apology scenario until it is a perfect fit for the speaker.

Need more convincing? As a speechwriter I've had clients who, once they discovered the magic of apologizing, wanted me to "dream up" reasons for them to say they were sorry. Oh, I thought up reasons. And those apologies worked every time.

The best example of that was a chief-marketing-officer (CMO) who was giving a commencement speech during the 2001 global downturn. He said he was planning to apologize for having a good job when so many of them didn't as yet have any or were making applications to Starbucks. But then he thought about it. Since the average CMO keeps a job only about 23 months and he had his 19 months, he should soon be joining them with steam burns making lattes. He had that audience in the palm of his hand.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got > Something vs Nothing

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