Saying “sorry” isn’t enough, and someone else’s lack of belief in your flaccid apology isn’t their problem; it’s yours. Likewise, demanding an apology from those who wronged you is petty. Forced insincerity has no value.
Despite their supposed savvy, politicians, celebrities, and CEOs often screw up this invaluable skill due to ignorance or ego. You can do better. Here is my periodic reminder on how an effective leader apologizes.
When you goofed, do the following;
1. Admit that you have done something wrong and must make up for it.
2. Take full responsibility for your actions and apologize directly to those you have harmed.
3. Apologize with urgency.
4. Tell those you have harmed, specifically what you did wrong and how you feel about what you did.
5. Recognize that what you did is inconsistent with the person you want to be.
6. Make amends and show your commitment to not repeating the act by changing your behavior.
Note: Others have no obligation to forgive you.
This only works if you feel remorseful. You can try to fake it, but a lack of sincerity announces itself. Instead, own up and exhibit self-leadership.