What to Say When Your Wife Is Urging You To Show More Ambition

Scenario: Scott’s wife is at it again. She fussed at him for not pushing more for a promotion at work. Scott doesn’t know what to say. As usual, he feels a mixture of guilt (not very strong) and annoyance (growing by the minute). For their entire 15-year marriage, Jane has pestered him to work harder and be a better provider. Scott wonders if she even notices his strengths, such as he goes to work without fail, he treats Jane with kindness, he buys gifts for her when he goes on business trips, and he likes washing her car for her without being asked. What to Say: Scott: Sweetheart, you know you are the love of my life. I want to please you in every way. However, I am tired of you pushing me to make more of myself in the workplace.  When you say that you want me to be a more successful businessman, I shrink to about two inches tall.   Read More »

What to Say When… You Drop the Ball

Have you done this? I said “Yes” to someone who needed my help but I failed to follow through. I’m very forgetful so that is often the reason I drop the ball but it’s no excuse for my mistakes. I fail to set reminders for myself. I trust my memory but my memory fails me time and again.

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What to Say When… Your Team Bails Out

Welcome to my blog. I’m a psychologist and the co-author (with Gary Chapman) of When Sorry Isn’t Enough. I share tips about What to Say When challenging conversations arise and I welcome your thoughts and questions. I’ll check back in frequently to chime in on the conversations here. Hello! Are you a trustworthy person? Are you […]

How to Give a Meaningful Apology at Work by Mark Goulston

In his book, Just Listen, Mark Goulston talks about how to give a strong apology. He says:

Is there someone you need to apologize to? If there is, don’t just say you’re sorry; give them a Power Apology.  It has three parts:

1. Admit that you were wrong and that you’re sorry. Really own up to what you did — or failed to do. For example, “I jumped down your throat and berated you mercilessly when you didn’t get that report done on time. I was wrong to treat you that way and I am sorry.”

2. Show them you understand the effect it had on them. For instance, “And when I did that, and wouldn’t let it go, I think I made you feel cornered and probably anxious — and maybe even panicky.” You don’t need to jump to conclusions or make assumptions about what they must be feeling or thinking; just try to really put yourself in their shoes.

3. Tell them what you are going to do differently in the future so that it doesn’t happen again.  Read More »

Apple’s Rotten Week

The internet is buzzing with complaints about Apple’s IPhone 5 release.  The crux of the problem: Apple was unable to get Google’s permission to use their excellent maps application so Apple created their own maps application.  This application is not working and so apple is apologizing. Andrew Leonard at www.salon.com has a good analysis of […]

Apologies That Work: www.mint.com

This week, I received this email from www.Mint.com (a free money management company to which I subscribe).  Their subject line read: “Our Apologies.” Mint wrote: “A flood of emails were recently sent from stage-mini@mint.com to some Mint users. It was a misconfiguration with our email provider causing blank emails to go out. This was not […]

Goldman Sachs Apology: 3 (out of 5) Stars

Goldman Sachs has been playing nice this week.  The New York Times reports that the thriving bank will spend 500 million dollars to assist struggling small businesses.  The head of the bank, Lloyd C. Blankfein, is reported to have acknowledged at a conference in New York that Goldman had made mistakes, and that it was […]