When individuals feel wronged, an apology can bring a sense of relief. An exchange of apology and forgiveness can help to "set relations right" between two individuals. And while the interpersonal dynamic of a public apology is quite different to that of a private, personal apology, whole groups of people nonetheless report experiencing healing after certain well-timed and well-delivered public apologies. So, an effective official public apology, like a private and personal apology, can work to set relations right.
However, social media are changing the ways in which individuals and groups seek apologies. The nature of social media is expanding the number of circumstances in which people feel forced or obliged to give an apology, and blurring the distinction between private and public apologies. So, this is a good time to reconsider the nature of apology.
An apology can be understood as a particular type of negotiation. And if the outcome that people are seeking is to set relations right, then a merely transactional apology can make little positive difference. Indeed, it can exacerbate a problem. Transformational apology is required.
This session will address the logic and dynamics of apology, and examine how a practical theory of effective apology aligns with trauma-informed- and restorative practice. A deeper understanding of the nature of apology is relevant both to:
- administrative and political work with colleagues and other professionals; &
- therapeutic work with clients.
- be able to clearly distinguish transactional from transformational apology;
- be able to articulate the core elements of a meaningful apology, and the logical stages of engagement;
- have a clearer sense of how this practical theory fits with broader areas of practice such as effective negation, and trauma-informed- and restorative practice.
David Moore, PhD, is a Melbourne-based academic and consultant whose work supports individuals to communicate constructively and organisations to change adaptively. He is currently President of the Australian Association for Restorative Justice.
David has taught in politics, history, law, and peace & conflict studies at Melbourne-, Charles Sturt-, Queensland-, La Trobe-, and James Cook Universities. He coordinated Charles Sturt University's inaugural Justice Studies program, then worked in the Office of the Queensland Premier & Cabinet before co-founding Transformative Justice Australia (TJA). He trained restorative facilitators around Australia, North America and Europe in using the Group Conferencing process in the justice system, and using a broader range of techniques to support relationship-based education and conflict resilient workplaces. This work inspired David Williamson's Jack Manning Trilogy of plays: Face to Face, A Conversation, and Charitable Intent (1999 - 2001) and Michael Rymer's award-winning (2011) film adaptation of Face to Face. David has also worked with Sydney-based Primed Change Consulting to manage adaptive change across government, community and corporate sector organisations. In recent years, he has been a Principal Consultant to Australia's Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, the National Redress Scheme Direct Personal Response program, and the current Victoria Police Restorative Engagement and Redress Scheme.
When: Friday 27 May 2022
Time: 12pm – 2pm AEST (10am HKT, 2pm NZT)
Where: ZOOM (zoom link will be sent in the registration confirmation email)
Cost: $40 (+ GST for Australian members)
Max: Unlimited number of participants (open to all members)
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