Why *Not* Apologizing May Be Good For You

“As a matter of simple strategy, apologies may not be a great idea.”

Yes, apologizing may be the morally right thing to do, and is what (most of us) have been raised and instructed to do.

But apologies are complicated: Plenty of research shows that apologizing makes you look weak, that we overestimate the benefits an apology brings, and – in a recent NYTimes piece by Prof Cass Sunstein – that apologies can decrease your support.

Scan the corporate and political world and it’s clear that those who don’t apologise tend to go unpunished. In fact, they seem to keep their jobs and fair better: Franken vs Trump in politics; or Tony Hayward (BP, Deepwater Horizon crisis) vs Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs, Financial crisis) in corporate – an example used in Prof Jeffrey Pfeffer’s course on Power.

So think twice, just as I challenge leaders in my Exec Coaching practice: Apologies are overused and the advantages of *not* apologizing are insufficiently recognized.

Full article in the NY Times HERE.

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