Our SuperCamp staff are a unique group of individuals with one thing in common – they practice what they preach. All of our facilitators and team leaders use the 8 Keys of Excellence as well as the many effective communication and interpersonal life skills they teach at camp in their everyday lives. In doing this, they are able to build instant credibility with students and not only teach them these skills, but show them what it looks like to use them in their own lives.
Parents can model the same kind of positive behavior for their students at home. One way is to practice the Four-Part Apology, a communication technique that can be used to settle any type of conflict. Disagreements happen and situations arise where an apology is neccessary to resolve them. Too many times an apology is not given or is done in such an off-handed way that the person receiving the apology feels it wasn’t sincere. As a result, bad feelings linger and rifts between two people, often two family members or friends, widen rather than disappear.
The Four-Part Apology lets the two parties deal with the issue in a thoughtful and supportive manner rather than in an angry or defensive way. Here’s how it works:
- Acknowledge – Take responsibility for your actions and behaviors using “I” statements, such as: “I acknowledge that I hurt your feelings with what I said.”
- Apologize – Acknowledge the “cost” to others: “I apologize and I realize I may have hurt our relationship.” If unaware of the “cost,” ask.
- Make it Right – Deal with the consequences of your behavior: “I want to do something to help maintain our friendship. What can I do to make it right?”
- Recommit – Make a committment to appropriate behavior and commit to not having the same behavior again: “I agree to Speak with Good Purpose from now on.”
When a conflict arises at home and you have an opportunity to make things right by offering an apology, give the Four-Part Apology a try and see how effective it can be.