Jennifer Thomas is a bestselling author, psychologist, speaker, consultant & apology critic

The Best and Worst Apologies of 2010


I’ve been rating the good, the bad, and the ugly among public apologies again this year.

The best public apology of the year was the highly-scripted, 13-minute apology by Tiger Woods.    My analysis of his discourse is here. The apology by Woods earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on my apology rating scale.  Two caveats:  First, while his “technical score” is quite high, his “artistic score” would be lower due to his formal, glum delivery.  Second, we don’t know who created the text of Woods’ apology.  His high score probably reflects the work of a public relations team that includes another apology expert.  An aside: Kudos to Elin (Tiger’s ex-wife) who did not stand beside him during his apology.  He violated her trust and she should not have been called upon to support him so soon after his numerous offenses.  The choice was hers and I understood her choice.

I’ve got a tie for the worst apology of 2010:  The Citigroup CEO’s apology for the financial crisis and the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team’s apology for their over-the-top revelry following their gold medal victory. Each of these apologies scored only 1 (out of a possible 5) in my analysis.

May 2011 be marked by sincere apologies.  I predict that we’ll have a few stinkers, too.  Apology analysis is a growth industry.

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