No, the answer isn't "bring ice cream" (but it's a good guess).
Researchers from Ohio State University believe that have identified the individual components that make up an effective apology - and help you avoid a night on the sofa.
Two studies - one of 333 adults, another of 422 undergraduate students - asked participants to read a scenario in which they were the manager of an accounting department that was hiring a new employee. At a previous job, the potential employee had filed an incorrect tax. When confronted about the issue, the job candidate apologised with a statement that contained a number of different 'apology components'.
Six of these components were identified to be vital to making sure your apology had impact - with some requiring more weight than others.
Grab a pen, you'll want to take notes...