The Power of Sorry - Legal and Psychological Implications of Apologizing

When I was little, I was taught to say I was sorry if I did any number of bad/dumb/stupid/wrong/etc. things. An apology was the necessary ingredient to bring a relationship back to square one. As a leader, I see this kind of crazy reality which says if you apologize for something, you are admitting responsibility, and you could be legally liable. So, I guess to protect yourself and your organization, you must never apologize...


And yet, at Link Care, I have seen countless hurt people blossom when leadership from their mission come and apologize to them for what happened to them on the field. Even an apology from a leader who had nothing to do with their on-field hurt has brought healing, and often restoration into the relationship.

Theresa, how did we get to where we avoid apologizing on behalf of our organization? Is there a way to apologize which is received as heartfelt, but which also protects from future liability, if I could be so crass?

Any suggestions? (Oh, and I'm sorry for throwing this one at you! :)


Disclaimer: not official legal or psychological advice or opinion

Because of the generality of the information on this site, it may not apply to a given place, time, or set of facts. It is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations