Well, we’re back from a wonderful vacation in the Northeast. We were visiting family, and I have to admit, I was a bit nervous, as they have not spent a whole lot of time around Evan. Our immediate family has gotten used to his behavior and have learned to cope with it, but it can be a lot for someone who has never been around him to handle. I must have apologized fifty times for different things, and that was only the first afternoon. I finally relaxed and realized, it is what it is, and all I can do is all I can do.
But it did get me thinking about apologies in general. If you’ve ever tried to give an apology, chances are, you’ve used these two simple words, “I’m sorry”. If you’ve ever tried to accept an apology, I’m willing to bet that sometimes these two simple words just don’t cut it.
So often, apologies seem forced and insincere. A few years ago, I watched the Randy Pausch interview with Oprah Winfrey. Randy Pausch was the guy who gave The Last Lecuture at Carnegie Melon University after being diagnosed with Pancriatic Cancer. He passed away in July of 2008.
Randy spoke of living your childhood dreams. It’s a fantastic short video, and I’d highly recommend it.
In the video, Randy explained that one of the things we need to learn to do is apologize correctly. A true apology, he explains, has three parts:
- I’m Sorry
- I was wrong
- What can I do to make it right
When you think about the apologies you’ve gotten and given, do they contain these three elements? It seems pretty simple, but I have found it is a great formula to demonstrate you are really taking ownership of your mistake. It’s a powerful tool in helping build relationships.
We ended up having a fantastic time on vacation. We went to the beach, the zoo, ate lobster, saw fireworks, and ate way too much. Evan did amazingly well, and we are declaring our family vacation of 2012 a success. Check out pictures of our vacation on Facebook!