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You would think it was easy to say sorry. It is a short, two syllable word and from a very early age it’s one that children are taught to say when they do something wrong. The one word that will help put things right.

Back in the 70s there was a sitcom on television called Sorry, starring Ronnie Corbett. It was about a middle-aged man still living with his mother and his catchphrase was, yes, you’ve guessed it, “sorry”. The comeback one often hears, to somebody apologising and saying sorry, is “it’s not good enough just to say you’re sorry”. However, that simple word often goes a long way to resolving and defusing difficult situations.

Recently a high-profile policeman hit the headlines after refusing to say sorry for having his officers vigorously investigate someone who had been the victim of, what appears to have been a malicious allegation. The popular press had headlines of “just say sorry” and people around the country must have been screaming that at their television sets as the person in question gave a statement that avoided use of the magic word “sorry “.

It may very well be that the high-ranking officer might have declined to use the word “sorry” because by doing so he may have been seen to be admitting liability for any distress caused to, or any losses incurred by the person under investigation. One of the great advantages of mediation, carried out by ASM Plus is that nothing that is said during the process can later be used in court. This means that both parties can be open and honest and say “sorry” without fear of it being held against them at a later date.

ASM Plus offer a range of reduced fee services to those in need and it need not cost too much for disputing parties to reach agreement and for one or more of them to give a genuine, heartfelt apology. I think we should be teaching children that there are actually two magic words. One is “sorry”, the other is “mediation “.

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