Why it might be helpful to apologize for something that’s not your fault.

An apology for something beyond anyone’s control, such as the weather, has the effect of making others trust the apologizer. For example, when a young man approached strangers in a train station on a rainy day and said, “I’m so sorry about the rain! Can I borrow your phone?” he was successful 47% of the time, compared with just 9% if he simply asked to borrow a phone. Past studies have shown that when culpability for negative situations is ambiguous, people reward those who take blame more than those who express remorse

Posted at HBR.com by Andrew O’Connell  |   8:30 AM October 28, 2013

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