Don’t apologize for being sorry (Editor’s notes)

Employers shouldn't fear apologies
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/31/2008

I have a decades-old beef with Peter Cetera. Yes, that Peter Cetera. The former lead singer of Chicago who, in 1982, rose to the top of the charts with “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.” As a kid, I never understood that song — what’s so hard about apologizing?

After all, it’s one of the first things we’re taught as children. You do something wrong, you say sorry. It doesn’t completely solve everything, but it makes things better.

It’s a lesson grown-ups shouldn’t be forgetting, especially in the business world. Far too many executives and organizations are hesitant to say “sorry.” There’s an underlying fear of litigation and that apologizing is tantamount to a guilty plea that can and will be held against you in a court of law.