It doesn’t cost anything, but it pays to say you’re sorry

Here’s some good news: Saying you’re sorry is a sign of strength, not weakness. Some people think it’s the other way around.

A survey by Zogby International asked people why they ordered pearls from The Pearl Outlet (the pearloutlet.com). Often the gift was given as an apology to a wife or girlfriend. The survey discovered one other fact.

People who were more willing to say they’re sorry earned more money than those who didn’t. It seems that apologizing is a factor in maintaining good relationships

About 90 percent of those who earned $100,000 or more apologize when they believe they are wrong. Only 84 percent of those earning $75,000 to $100,000 did the same. About 52 percent of those earning $25,000 or less would apologize. The survey was reported by Ann Fisher in Fortune magazine.

Even when they felt completely blameless, 25 percent of high earners apologized compared with 13 percent in the lowest income group.

Those who say they’re sorry now and then are viewed more positively. Others think they are willing to learn from mistakes and mend relationships.

Another explanation may be that high earners feel more secure and are less likely to go on the defensive when challenged says Marty Nemko, author of Cool Careers for Dummies (2001).

Maybe next time we are reluctant to apologize, we should remember that high earners do it pretty often.

It helps the work run smoothly.

2008-08-25T21:31:00+00:00

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