Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Effective Apology

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Effective Apology

Mending Fences, Building Bridges, and Restoring Trust


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Contrary to the popular movie Love Story, maintaining great relationships sometimes does mean having to say, “I’m sorry.”

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Mistakes and misconduct are no longer private matters. With video-sharing websites and the proliferation of cellphone cameras, technology can expose every blunder and make it fodder for public opinion. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to admit when you’ve made a mistake, earnestly say you’re sorry and back up your regret with action. John Kador explains how. He outlines the five elements of an effective apology – “recognition, responsibility, remorse, restitution and repetition” – and describes how to use them. He reinforces his suggestions with real examples of people who’ve succeeded or failed in an attempt to apologize. getAbstract recommends this book to managers in every field and to anyone who wants to build strong relationships. And if it does not meet your needs, well, someone owes you an apology.


Being Human Means Saying, “I’m Sorry”

The art of apologizing is essential to maintaining relationships. Mistakes are unavoidable and no human being is perfect, so knowing how to apologize is a vital skill. An appropriate, timely apology can neutralize bitterness, heal hurt feelings, reduce the chance of litigation, and restore and renew relationships. Sometimes, an apology can make a relationship even stronger. Moreover, denying misbehavior can carry big risks and refusing to apologize may have a heavy cost. Leaders once avoided apologizing, seeing it as an admission of weakness or guilt, but today’s society views an apology as an expression of strength, morality and integrity, and when leaders err, they must pony up and say they are sorry.

An apology is an effort to reach out and admit that you were wrong. “Apology is a practice” in that it requires action. Feeling bad isn’t enough; you have to act on that emotion. Apology requires the person at fault to communicate openly with the injured party. Lastly, apology involves humility because you must place the victim’s feelings above your own.

Repair and Renewal

The objectives of a heartfelt apology are ...

About the Author

John Kador is author of several books, including The Manager’s Book of Questions and the New York Times bestseller Net Ready: Strategies for Success in the E-conomy. He’s ghostwritten books for several Fortune 1000 executives, and is a speaker and consultant on leadership issues.

Comment on this summary