Effective Apology Book Cover

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Paperback, 264 pages
ISBN 978-1-57675-901-1
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Effective Apology Quotes


Progress occurs one apology at a time.


We rarely wrestle with apology and lose.


One of the most useful tasks of apology is to bring home to us how keenly, honestly, and painfully past generations pursued aims that now seem to us wrong and disgraceful.  It behooves us to consider if future geenrations will similarly regard the aims we most defend today.   


Apology is the practice of extending ourselves because we value the relationship more than we value the need to be right.


Apology is the most courageous gesture we can make to ourselves.


When we apologize we end our struggle with history.


An effective apology focuses more on compassion for the victim than redemption for the offender.


You can’t talk your way out of a situation you acted you way into.


Genuine apology emphasizes compassion for the wronged party, not redemption for the offender.


Apology may start as a feeling, a desire to make matters right, but it requires a commitment to move that desire into practice, to actually take on the great courageous task of showing compassion to others.


Apology calls for a willingness to sacrifice on behalf of the wronged party and the inherent value of the relationship, not for what it brings to you but for what you can bring to it.


No apology is equal to the task set before it.


An effective apology contains within it the answer to the question, “How am I to be held accountable?”


“I would like to apologize” may sound like an apology, but it is no more an actual apology than saying “I would like to lose weight” makes you suddenly slimmer.


An apology informed is good; an apology performed is better.


The purpose of apology is to extend ourselves in such a way that relationships become deeper, and life becomes richer and more human in the process.


Apology sends the clearest signal that we have the strength of character to reconcile ourselves with the truth.


We value apology in the abstract, but turn our backs on it in practice.


Apology is both transactional, in that it restores what has been broken to what it was before, and transformational, in that it creates opportunities that didn’t exist before.


When I accept an apology it means that the part in me that honors our relationship honors the part in you that honors our relationship.


Accepting the apology signals the acknowledgment of a need to move forward, but not necessarily together.


You don’t have to see eye-to-eye to walk hand-in-hand. You just have to want to go in the same direction.


Apology may be scorned, but it retains its inherent value.


Apologies have more power than most of us realize to restore strained relationships, free us from vengeful impulses, and create possibilities for growth.


Apology is not for the faint of heart, but then, neither is life.