You'd hope that somebody in the midst of the mortgage meltdown and credit crunch would be sorry for what has happened. The Financial Times notes that Wall Street bankers are having a hard time apologizing.
One major barrier to apologies appears to be fear of the reaction. "No one wants to stick their head above the parapet or be the one identified with this scandal. Saying sorry can be a dangerous thing," said a top executive at a large UK financial services company.
Angry shareholders might also seize on any expression of contrition as an invitation to litigation, so caution is critical. "Be conservative in what you say, don't say anything more than you need to and avoid speculating about the future as much as possible. That all means closely controlling how much executives say and appear," says the head of communications at a FTSE 100 group.
Of course, workplace mea culpas are always difficult for those reasons—we fear reaction and punishment. For those of us who are looking for help on saying sorry at work, this is a good place to start.