The Respect Karting program is not now, nor is it intended to be a program that will require our Officials to be increasingly reviewing and enforcing issues of unacceptable behaviour at the Kart Club. It is a program that is expected to lead to peer regulation (not incitement) and self-modification of behaviour by our members.
Yes – there will be times where people go far too far and who require mediation or discipline for their actions under the Rules (just as there always has been.) Most anti-social behavioural issues flare up out of a stupid or insensitive comment made in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most issues, as a long time karter said to me recently, can and should be solved with a bit of self-reflection and a genuine apology. Please take the time to think about that for a moment while you read this brief article from the Cultures Of Dignity web site.
“The Power of Apologising
Apologies require the highest level of human capacity—mindful self-reflection and the ability to acknowledge another person’s experience. If that isn’t hard enough, it often requires putting ourselves in a position of vulnerability—often to the person to whom we are apologising.
That’s why no one has ever woken up excited because they have to apologise to someone. Of course, it feels better in the long run, and yes, it’s the “right” thing to do, but usually we dread these moments. It’s why we so often come up with reasons not to apologise; like refusing to believe we’re wrong, excusing our behaviour, blaming the other person or thinking nothing we say will make a difference.
Apologies are especially important for our relationships with young people. How you model and teach giving and accepting apologies matters. When young people see an adult genuinely apologise, they realise the power of apologies to transform relationships.
So, what is a genuine apology?
- Recognise that every person has the right to his or her feelings and perspective. That means no one has the right to tell anyone else that they’re “overreacting,” “took it the wrong way” or are “overly sensitive.”
- Conveys sincerity.
- Acknowledges the hurt done to the other person.
- Offers to make amends having nothing to do with being “caught” and getting into trouble.
Examples of true apologies include statements like “I’m deeply sorry I said those things” or “I was really out of line, and I didn’t think about how I embarrassed you (or the position I put you in).”
A fake apology:
- Has an insincere tone of voice, sometimes accompanied by body language, like sighing and eye-rolling, to further communicate their true feelings.
- Tries to make the other person feel weak for wanting the apology.
- Manipulates the person apologised to, usually in order to get something the apologiser wants.
- Talks about themselves and how they’ve been affected by the situation and doesn’t take responsibility for their behaviour.
You can’t force someone to accept your apology. If the person you apologised to needs some time, honour that. On the other hand, it is never too late to apologise. You can always go back the next day, a week or a month later and tell the person that you are sorry.
The real goal isn’t to receive forgiveness. It is to go through the process of doing your best to make amends.”