Tiger Woods’ recent mea culpa led to a number of comments and critiques. One of the most interesting analyses came in a New York Times article on Sunday, “I Apologize. No, Really, I’m Serious, I…” by Paul Vitello. In it, he notes the work of Dr. Aaron Lazare, the author of “On Apology”, which focuses on personal, not public apologies, but has some real wisdom to share for both types of apologies.
Mr. Vitello quotes Dr. Lazare on four basic points. The second, according to Dr. Lazare, is that you must say what you did. What might that mean in the context of the Connecticut mediation and consulting work that Dovetail Resolutions does?
In business mediation, it might mean, “I’m sorry that I didn’t live up to my responsibilities as a partner, because I was too distracted by other business opportunities and missed appointments.” In mediation of a family wealth conflict, it might mean, “I’m sorry that I didn’t pay my share of the expenses for the vacation house by the time I agreed to do it.” In elder mediation, it might mean, “I’m sorry that I backed out of taking Mom to the dentist at the last minute, leaving you to do it (again.)”