Excuses Disguised as Explanations…


Explanations come across as excuses.

So when something falls apart and doesn’t work out the way that you had hoped, or you miss a deadline,  or some outcome doesn’t happen, telling them the sad story about why it is that way only serves to put you in the place of victimhood.

Everybody sees it… And it’s not attractive as adults.

Next time you blow it—and you will because you’re breathing—instead of giving a sad story and explaining to everybody why it’s such a relevant reason why you didn’t get things done, offer up an apology that is sincere along with a: “Listen, guys, This shouldn’t have happened. It won’t happen again. This is what I’m doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

That is authentic.

I have a friend who wrote a book on trust, and he had someone from another country say to him: “You Americans, you are just serial liars. You keep saying that you’re sorry, but you keep doing the same thing over and over again.”

Saying the words “I’m sorry” is not the same as saying: “I blew it. It’ll never happen again. And I’m putting systems in place so that it won’t happen again.”

We don’t want to be apologetic liars. We want to be truth-tellers that are authentic when we blow it. Leave the excuses at home.

Just say: “I blew it. Here’s my massive corrective action plan. This shouldn’t have happened. I let you down. It won’t happen again.”

Leave a Reply