There's an adage, “If you are asking, you probably already know the answer.” That's true in this case, too. If you know you've done something you regret, and an apology is warranted, it can actually help prevent a lawsuit.
In September 2021, Binghamton University researchers published the results of a study, where they concluded that when a company's CEO apologized for a product failure, people were less likely to say they would join a class-action lawsuit against the company.
An apology should be timely and sincere to be effective. And, according to Harvard Business Review, a leader's successful apology usually has four parts:
- an acknowledgment of the mistake or wrongdoing,
- the acceptance of responsibility,
- an expression of regret, and
- a promise that the offense will not be repeated.
The Binghamton team further found that a CEO's apology was more successful when they also asked for forgiveness and underscored the fact that their customers will gain from re-engaging with (rather than punishing) the company.
This is not to say that an apology may, on its own, be enough of a bandage to make the entire issue go away. You may also need to be willing to develop some other element you can offer as a settlement. But consider how that might work, either as part of your acceptance of responsibility or as part of your promise to do better.
At John Marshall, Attorney at Law, we know that, more than anything, businesses are about relationships. Therefore, while we're thinking about making sure you win in court, we're also figuring out the best way to help you restore the relationship. And our priority is to help you resolve any issue as quickly and as painlessly possible.
If you're facing a lawsuit, call John Marshall, Attorney at Law, at 949-724-1116 or send us an email through the website to schedule a consultation.