Session 5 E

The Use and Misuse of Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation for Conflict Coaches

Time: Wednesday 10:30 AM – 11:40 AM

Presenter(s): Peter Robinson, Director & Ombudsperson, Straus Insitute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law – Learn more about this presenter by visiting the presenter page.

Level: Established


Apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation are the building blocks for healing from conflict. Apology and some types of forgiveness are available for individual healing when one or both parties are ready for relational healing. As conflict coaches, ombuds will be able to better serve their constituencies when they have an advanced understanding of these topics. The workshop will explore a variety of meanings of apology and forgiveness, how to advise others regarding the topics, and when these topics are misused. These building blocks will be used to understand different kinds of reconciliation. The goal of the workshop is to understand many approaches to these personal experiences and to equip the conflict coach to assist and support the client in constructing a customized apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation appropriate for a particular conflict.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the difference between a remorse, regret, social harmony, and externally motivated apology and how to encourage a client's preferred approach.
  2. Understand a therapeutic, relational, and redemptive approach to forgiveness and how to encourage a client’s preferred approach.
  3. Understand some of the obstacles to reconciliation and how to assist a client in assessing strategies for healthy relationships.
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