Captain Walker’s Seven Pillars of Apology:

  1. The apology must be objectively perceived (i.e. to the majority of observers or the intended recipient) as genuine and sincere, taking into account all verbal and non-verbal cues of the person offering the apology
  2. There must be unqualified and unconditional admission of wrongdoing.
  3. Expressed clarity and specificity about what the wrongdoing was.
  4. Unqualified acceptance of personal responsibility for the wrongdoing or acceptance of wrongdoing on behalf of an entity which the individual represents.
  5. Declaration and acknowledgement of the ‘principles’ that were offended.
  6. Specific acknowledgement of any individuals or entities who are known to be offended, or likely to be offended.
  7. An indelible commitment not to err in the same way in the future.

The above foundations I suggest are acceptable to most ‘right-thinking’ people. Anything less than the sum total of the above is mere lip-service.

An apology obviously has to be appropriate to the precise wrongdoing. In other words if one apologises on a matter that was not centrally at issue, then the apology is worthless.

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