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3 Secrets to a Sincere Apology

Leaders who apologize for their mistakes are actually perceived as stronger and more inspirational than those who don't acknowledge their mistakes, according to a study.

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This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You blew a critical deadline, lost a client, released a dud product or failed in some other way that wreaked havoc on your credibility, your business and your team. It happens. The question is: What now?

Christian Gralingen

If you’re like a lot of leaders, you’ll probably first try to cover up the problem or ignore it. A global study by The Forum Corporation found that only 19 percent of leaders apologize on a regular basis, because they fear it will make them look incompetent or weak. And sure, there’s a certain sense in that. To apologize is to show you’re fallible. And to some people, looking fallible means looking weak.

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