Saturday, February 16, 2008

5 Keys to Better Personal Correspondence

Q&A!: "Do you ever screw up? To wish it hadn't happened is a typical reaction, but not much of an action plan. It's better to know how to make a really effective apology that doesn't come across as what Daniel Kramer-Moore and Michael Moore, in the Journal of General Semantics article "Pardon me for breathing: Seven types of apology", call "sarcastic intimations of blame." According to The Perfect Apology, if you're truly interested in making amends, you need to understand and apply the science and art of a proper apology. The science is "the list of ingredients you need to combine when crafting the most effective apology for your case." It includes a detailed account of the situation, acknowledgement of the damage done, taking responsibility for the situation, recognition of your role in the event, a statement of regret, asking for forgiveness, a promise that it won't happen again, and, when possible, restitution. The art side of apologizing is how you present and deliver your apology. "In other words, although every apology should include the same elements," they say, "the level of playfulness, formality, or romance you bring to it should be dictated by the recipient, the relationship that you have with them, and the nature of the infraction."

In her book Men, Women and Politeness, Janet Holmes discusses the differences in how and how often women and men apologize. Apology also plays an important role on the global stage. To discover how, read Raymond Cohen's discussion of "Apology and Reconciliation in International Relations in Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov's book From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation. Since to err is human, it's lucky that Questia offers plenty of resources on apologizing. Not to check it out would be a mistake."


sury said...

For a long time, I have been seeing your comments in various blogs and really wanted to see a blog of yours; I find not one but they are many and meaningful too. I have bookmarked this to come here as a matter of routine henceforth.

I used to wonder at the word "apology" and whether it could be the combine of two roots Logos is knowledge and just as you find in other words, sociology, criminology, physiology,when you affix logy to any subject matter, it could be knowledge of that.

Boston Bala said...

Thanks Sury