Saturday, January 14, 2012

Avoiding Sorry Is Not Good Damage Control

Many people refuse to apologize or even acknowledge a harm or slight suffered by another. Many times the refusal is rooted in the fear of appearing responsible. Sometimes, there is no real responsibility or fault, but there may be consequences to appearing responsible. Other times, there may be culpability, but people do not want to make it up to the hurt individual. Alternatively, the hurt cannot be made better and people do not want to feel guilty.

Yet, many times when someone has suffered or been slighted in some way, they feel so much better when they are simply acknowledged. The hurt and pain are validated, and the person can move on from there. When someone's feelings and loss are denied or diminished, anger is created, which only intensifies their hurt.

There is scientific proof that saying sorry will not make you more vulnerable. Some states have instituted "apology laws." This means a doctor's apology cannot be used as evidence of medical malpractice. In the past doctors feared apologizing because they would be exposed to financial liability. Yet, most malpractice litigants initiate lawsuits because the doctor showed no remorse or acknowledgement. The states with apology laws have medical malpractice claims settled 20%faster and have reduced claim payments by $55,000 to $73,000 per case. Saying sorry actually helps lessen the cost and aggravation in medical malpractice suits.

Try saying I am sorry in your personal life and see whether that works better for damage control.

Stay healthy & well,

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