Time is of the essence when you owe someone an apology in the Internet age. As we all know, Tiger Woods certainly didn't rush to retract. By waiting 80 days to speak publicly, many people are convinced that he's arrogant and that he doesn't care.
So how did Tiger do once he finally stepped up to the tee to begin to make amends? Was it a good recovery shot? He handled some parts of the apology well, and others were lacking.
Bottom line: the content was strong; his delivery was weak.
First, why the content was strong:
On the flip side, how did Tiger's delivery hurt his ability to convince people of his sincerity?
Perhaps the most remarkable statement was his admission of being a self-absorbed narcissist. "I never thought about who I was hurting. I thought only about myself. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to," said Tiger.
I believe rehab is teaching Tiger that the grandiose self-importance, sense of entitlement, and impulsiveness of narcissism has caused chaos and pain for everyone around him. Narcissists are so caught up in their own worlds and meeting their own impulsive needs, that the needs of others are simply not on their radar screens. Today's admission of being self-absorbed, more than anything else he said, is what can change Tiger's world.
To me, this is the communication lesson: Tiger is a living, breathing example the danger of over-communicating with ourselves, and under-communicating with the others in our lives. It's critical to connect with others by listening for their needs and values. At the end of his prepared speech, Tiger said he's now relying on others to help him change and become "a better man." Good for him. If Tiger can conquer his narcissism, it will be a true story of redemption beyond the golf course. Which gives hope for everyone out there who's suffered with a narcissist in their life.