I don't mean to beat a dead horse with a follow-up to my post on grace in the workplace. However, an article in Chief Executive magazine is worth sharing, because Want Better Performance? Say you're sorry! presents an apology as a less costly alternative. I especially enjoyed reading the sidebar about the Pearl Outlet research that showed that customers who were willing to say "I'm sorry" earned more than those who rarely or never apologize.
In addition to going a long way towards earning the respect of employees and customers, an effective apology may be the difference between keeping or losing your job and your company being truly transparent. In addition, those of us who have worked in risk management have long known that an sincere apology goes a long way in helping to minimize the risk of legal action or the amount of the award.
I'll close with a line I found recently in my horoscope that seems to fit in nicely with the results of an effective apology. "Precious gems are created by extraordinary pressure." Yes, there is sometimes extraordinary pressure on the leader who is about to make an apology. However, the outcome is most likely to be a precious gem and worth the effort!