Archive for June 28th, 2012
An ex-girlfriend of mine used to say:
“Never explain, never apologise.”
At the time, I was too young and too naive to challenge her assertion. However, years later, and the fires of passion having dampened and died, I look back and think “What a load of b****cks”!
Her attitude of ‘brazening it out’ was not only arrogant but showed a complete lack of understanding of the foundation of relationships.
It is no different for business relationships. Trust is as much built from the accepting responsibility for mistakes and fixing them, as it is from anything else we do.
Many lawyers confuse an apology with being some kind of “admission of liability”, for them, sorry does seem to be the hardest word. The challenge will come when new market entrants from “service” backgrounds begin to compete. Service levels becomes a core element of their “product” and acceptance of “service failures” forms an essential part of their offering – then some lawyers may be face to reevaluate their relationship with the “S” word.
To aid this transition, emotionally, here are some famous apologies from history:
- BILL CLINTON TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE for his dalliance with Ms Lewinsky, which he acknowledged was “a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.”
- MEL GIBSON (take your pick) for his anti-Semitic rant at a Jewish police officer, which he described as “unbecoming” in his ”inebriated state”.
- RICHARD NIXON TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE resigning post “Watergate” – Nixon manages to get through his whole speech without expressly apologising or using the “S” word.
- NOBEL FOR INVENTING DYNAMITE – and seeking a better legacy through the peace prize.
- TONY BLAIR FOR: Slavery, Irish Famine, Historical Miscarriages of Justice – all before his time and then, finally, for Iraq deaths.
Please post any more you can think of?