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Teen Summer Camp Teaches The Four-Part Apology
At the teen summer camp, SuperCamp, we teach teens the Four-Part Apology, a very effective communication tool with friends, family, fellow students, even teachers.
Apologize with These Four Steps and Heal the Damage
Take these four steps when you’ve wronged or hurt someone, or when you’ve made a mistake significant enough to impact someone else. Here's an example of a response to a friend who is upset that you've cancelled plans with her on a few occasions.
• Acknowledge: Take responsibility for what you’ve done. Use “I statements” to show that you’re the one behind the action: “I acknowledge that I've canceled our plans at the last minute more than once and that this is upsetting to you.”
• Apologize: “I apologize for hurting you by wasting your time and making you feel unwanted.”
• Make it Right: Ask, “How can I make it right?” If the person doesn't have anything specific in mind, offer something to make up for what she missed when you cancelled. “Why don't we do out for dinner next Saturday?”
• Recommit: Show that you’re following a plan to keep the upset from happening in the future. “From now on, if I make plans with you I won't cancel them unless a real emergency comes up.”
The words “I apologize” are much more powerful than “sorry.” How often have you heard a nonchalant “I’m sorry” or just "Sorry" as if that would fix everything. At one of the schools where our Quantum Learning methods are used, the principal caught a young grade-school child doing something that was against the rules. When the principal spoke to her the girl mumbled a casual “Sorry.” The principal said, “You know, Elizabeth, in this school we use a Four-Part Apology.” The little girl replied, “Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.” I guess she hadn’t quite learned the process, but she did get a laugh from the principal.
The power of the Four-Part Apology lies in its ability to demonstrate that you’re taking responsibility for your actions. When the people in your life realize that you’re willing and able to do that, they’ll be more open and trusting with you—and your relationships will be better.
Clearing the air with the Four-Part Apology relieves tensions and feels great. It releases positive energy and creates synergy, especially if it’s tension that’s been festering for a long time. In the light of clear, positive communication, even long-standing miscommunications can be resolved. People whose relationships have faltered for years can get back on track when they apologize with this level of responsibility.
SuperCamp summer programs fill up fast. Parents, go to http://www.SuperCamp.com now to learn about enrolling your son or daughter while space remains. Age-specific programs are available for students in grades 4-12 and incoming college freshmen. At the website, you also can get a free eBook that gives you an inside look at what works with teens from a world leader in youth achievement, SuperCamp co-founder Bobbi DePorter.
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