It’s hard to apologize because “human beings are wired for defensiveness.” So says psychologist Harriet Lerner, author of the new book Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts.
In a recent NPR interview, Lerner addressed that special subgenre of apology—the sexual harassment apology—so ubiquitous of late. The rules for this kind of mea culpa, she says, are essentially the same as for any good apology.
Lerner says that good apologies are important but they're not enough. Apologies do not excuse perpetrators from the consequences of their actions (Tweet it!).
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a sexual harassment apology? How did you feel? If you have not, what do you believe such an apology should include? To join the conversation, click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.