The 6 Essential Elements Of An Effective Apology | The Huffington Post

The 6 Essential Elements Of An Effective Apology | The Huffington Post EDITION US عربي (Arabi) Australia Brasil Canada Deutschland España France Ελλάδα (Greece) India Italia 日本 (Japan) 한국 (Korea) Maghreb México Québec (En Francais) United Kingdom United States INFORM • INSPIRE • ENTERTAIN • EMPOWER NEWS WorldPost Highline Science Education Weird News Business TestKitchen Tech College Media POLITICS Pollster Election Results Eat the Press HuffPost Hill Candidate Confessional So That Happened ENTERTAINMENT Sports Comedy Celebrity Books Entertainment TV Arts + Culture WELLNESS Healthy Living Travel Style Taste Home Weddings Divorce Sleep GPS for the Soul WHAT'S WORKING Impact Green Good News Global Health VOICES Black Voices Latino Voices Women Fifty Religion Queer Voices Parents Teen College VIDEO ALL SECTIONS Arts + Culture Black Voices Books Business Candidate Confessional Celebrity College Comedy Crime Divorce Dolce Vita Eat the Press Education Election Results Entertainment Fifty Good News Green Healthy Living Highline Home Horoscopes HuffPost Data HuffPost Hill Impact Latino Voices Media Outspeak Parents Politics Pollster Queer Voices Religion Science Small Business So That Happened Sports Style Taste Tech Teen TestKitchen Travel TV Weddings Weird News Women WorldPost FEATURED GPS for the Soul Hawaii OWN Dr. Phil Quiet Revolution Talk to Me Don't Stress the Mess Endeavor Fearless Dreamers Generation Now Inspiration Generation Paving the Way The Power Of Humanity Sleep + Wellness What's Working: Purpose + Profit What's Working: Small Businesses HEALTHY LIVING The 6 Essential Elements Of An Effective Apology Paul Ryan recently nailed it. 04/13/2016 04:12 pm ET 220 Anna Almendrala Senior Healthy Living Editor, The Huffington Post Randall Hill / Reuters Based on his most recent statement of contrition, House Speaker  Paul Ryan might be the best apology-maker in the public eye, according to the author of a new study on the art of effective apologies . Roy Lewicki, professor emeritus of management and human resources at the Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, points to the Republican congressman for an example of a well pulled-off mea culpa. When Ryan addressed congressional interns on Capitol Hill last month, he apologized for the way he used to talk about poor people in the U.S. He said:  There was a time that I would talk about a difference between "makers" and "takers" in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized something. I realized that I was wrong. "Takers" wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn't castigate a large group of Americans just to make a point. Lewicki pointed out just why this statement worked, based on the findings of his study published in the May issue of Negotiation and Conflict Management Research . The most important element of an apology -- acknowledgement of responsibility -- is there as Ryan describes how he used to think and talk, and then admits that he was wrong. Ryan then says that learning more about the root causes of poverty helped changed his views, which is an explanation of what went wrong: he didn't know the real reasons Americans are poor and need government benefits. Ryan ends by saying that he "shouldn't castigate a large group of Americans," which signals repentance, and that it won't happen again.  "In a world where politicians can't admit changing their views without being nailed by the opposition as 'flip-flopping,' his statement is even more bold and authentic," said Lewicki.  However, Ryan isn't quite off the hook with the general public yet, he explained. That comes if and when he actually shows signs that he's following through on his promise to be better. Apologies are hard to make. While everyone agrees that insincere apologies are totally repellant, what if you’re trying to make amends and you honestly don’t know if your “sorry” is coming off well? Here to help you craft your next apology, admission of guilt before the media or any other public mea culpa is Lewicki's research, which finds there are six basic elements of an effective apology. The more points you hit, the more likely it is that your apology will be accepted, says Lewicki. And some elements are more important than others. The 6 elements of a sincere apology In addition to the three elements Ryan included in his apology, there are three that have varying degrees of significance. Here are all six, in order of importance. 1. Acknowledgement of responsibility: This means admitting something was your fault and taking ownership over the mistake. This is in direct opposition to the notorious “mistakes were made ” non-apology apology, popular among politicians and others looking to shirk legal obligation