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The Apology Edition - November 2015

News Roundup


We Regret Nothing: Why Nobody Can Apologize Anymore

A client commented to me that it was hard to find examples of good apologies these days. I set out to find some that worked, why, and why some are awful.

Super Bad Apology by Tony Hayward, CEO of BP

I use this as an example of an executive "blooper" in my training programs. Tony “I’d Like My Life Back” Hayward was chief executive of BP during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. His handling of the disaster was criticized because of his comment on this video, for avoiding answering questions during his testimony to Congress, and for attending a yacht race during the oil spill.

South Park's Version of his Apology

Hayward's super bad apology brought out the comics with some cringe-worthy results.

Uncomfortable Something by Netflix Execs

Two top execs turn to video to sort of apologize for jacking up the prices of their services and offer a confusing non-explanation for splitting the company in two.

SNL's Version of their Apology

Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis take Netflix to task for their clumsy communication and silly new name.

Reddit CEO Ellen Pao's Apology Backfired and Led to her Dismissal

Following the firing of a popular Reddit moderator, Pao's ambiguous apology cited "miscommunication" but no clear promises for improvement or explanation for the firing. It triggered a petition calling for her departure signed by over 200,000 people. A week later she was gone.

The Non-Apology Award of the Year Goes to Nobel Scientist Who Thinks Women Just Cry All the Time

Tim Hunt's apology for his public comments at a science conference when he advocated for single-sex labs because women are distracting included such gems as saying it was a stupid thing to say in a room full of journalists, that he stood by some of the remarks, such as that women "burst into tears" when you criticize them, and that he was sorry he "caused offense."

#DistractinglySex Twitter Campaign — Brings Down Tim  Hunt?

Female scientists retaliated with a #distractingsexy Twitter campaign, both funny and pointed. Tim Hunt was released from his post at University College London. He complained he had been "hung out to dry."

Important Apology Components:

— Apologizing immediately
— Taking responsibility
— Explaining what happened
— Seeming genuinely sorry

Additional Apology Resources:
Wikipedia "Non-Apology Apology"
Are Apologies for Historical Events Worthwhile?
This is Just to Say / I have eaten / the plums / that were in
the icebox / and which / you were probably / saving
for breakfast / Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet / and so cold”
                                                  ~William Carlos Williams
Learning how to apologize genuinely and gracefully in a way that brings comfort to all involved is a powerful addition to your professional presence.
Latest Book Reviews
Nonfiction: They Don't Get It, Do They? (Reardon)
Fiction: Ladder of Years (Tyler)

[click to read - scroll down]

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Creating Exceptional Presence
New challenges,
New behaviors,
New you

by Jennifer K. Crittenden
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Apology Song
by The Decemberists
[click to listen]
Movie Reviews:
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro

How do you say you're sorry after you've beaten the dickens out of your wife's boyfriend?
      [click to read review]

Training Programs
Your American Voice
Fluency, accent reduction, comprehensibility
by Jennifer K. Crittenden
Purchase from Amazon
Joey and Ross from FRIENDS
Worst. Apology. Ever.
[click to watch]
Latest Audiobook:
The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

Intoxicating tale, memorable characters, a tour de force that raises and answers the question: how do you apologize for an act so egregious that it jeopardizes a lifelong friendship?

Click on image for more information
Career Advancement
Decision-making, opportunity assessment, negotiation

Custom Flash Drive -
MP3 Files -
USB Thumbdrive

Narrated by author

Purchase through my website

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