Sometimes we mess up. We are human. We do things that we shouldn’t do. We only make things worse when we follow up on our poor choices with a deficient apology. Ryan Locthe’s Twitter apology following his robbery controversy at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil was one giant Neversay.
Let’s first address Locthe’s chosen mode of communication (which technically would be more of a Neverdo than a Neversay). Your purpose for a communication coupled with the intended audience should determine your mode of communication.
PURPOSE + AUDIENCE DETERMINES MODE
Whenever you deliver bad news or give an apology, it should be done in person. It shows that you are “showing up” to fully accept responsibility. Ryan’s first mistake was sending his “apology” via twitter, which is viewed as a light, casual, social medium.
Lochte’s mode of communication was poor and the substance of his communication was even worse. The chart below provides a rough translation of Lochte’s communication:
|LOCHTE’S WORDS||WHY THEY FALL SHORT|
|For not being more careful and candid||· I’m not going to admit to lying|
|For my role||· Suggest that he simply played a part.
· That there are other guilty parties
|It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country||· Makes him the victim instead of the perpetrator|
|…have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave||· I am a victim
· You should actually feel sorry for me
· I had no other option
|There has already been too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend, so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances…||· This isn’t a big deal
· Get over it
· I don’t want to talk about it anymore
Since the incident in Brazil and the subsequent apology, Lochte has lost all of his endorsements and loads of fans. I wonder if things would have played out differently had he delivered a sincere, heartfelt and direct apology.