I believe most people offer an apology from a sincere heart. In fact, I have operated on this principle most of my life. But lately, I have been subjected to a string of heartless apologies from insincere companies and professionals that makes me question the value and sincerity of a 21st century apology.
But, research has found that practicing the art of conversation is a sound business strategy. Even without the research, having deep conversations with clients, colleagues and audiences is a fundamentally sound behavior. After all, when you take a business and separate the processes and product from the enterprise what you have left are the people that work there. The same people that will spend endless hours pouring their souls into a product or service can hardly be bothered to explore and discover what matters most in their professional, public, and personal lives.
Today, the whole world is listening and the things you may think you are saying in confidence might easily show up on YouTube, Twitter or SnapChat. This does not mean you should be disingenuous when you speak, but it does mean you must consider the larger audience who might hear what you are saying.
Sometimes, when we’re in a like-minded group it is easy for us to become comfortable saying the things we’d like to say instead of the things we ought to be saying. This is a lesson learned painfully by many politicians, athletes and celebrities. Some professional speakers and business leaders are guilty of this as well.
Ever since the invention of the cell phone, I find that I am repeated assaulted, exposed, and inundated with more private information than I care to process. A whole lot of it is TMI that I really, really would prefer never to hear. Once, while waiting at the car wash, I heard a complete break-up of a relationship. Who would want to expose this most private detail in a public forum. “Can you hear me now” seems to be more of a strategy than a marketing slogan.
“Yes, I can hear you now. And, frankly, I’d like you to take it down a notch or two or four or even eight.”
From restaurants to theaters to planes, trains and sidewalks more and more people are screaming the details of their private lives at levels loud enough for everybody to hear; two towns over, whether they choose to hear it or not.