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How do we look when we offer excuses?

An excuse is a reason to explain why something has, has not, or will not be done.

Excuses for failures can be used for not taking responsibility. Excuse implies a desire to avoid punishment, rebuke, or look bad in another’s presence.

Excuses create opportunities for others to doubt or not believe. They dodge the issue and can create frustration during a conversation.

Taking responsibility creates a very different conversation. It allows honesty and genuineness, and believability. It shows culpability and opportunity for self-correction.

Ownership of a problem builds trust and confidence.


Why were you late?

The traffic was terrible this morning, or I failed to consider heavy traffic.

What is the delay on this project?

I have been waiting on the other department, or I allowed the other department to not get me the information on time.

Why is the workroom a mess?

Others just don’t seem to care, or I should have noticed this and done something about it.

Notice that these excuses do not really address the issues. They deflect, disregard, or ignore responsibility. The one offering the excuse appears to have escaped blame: however, I see this as a weakness and poor acknowledgment of someone’s identification of an issue that needs solving and makes them look worse.

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” ― George Washington

Excuses do not solve problems. They only add to the frustration of the person identifying the problem.

Taking responsibility opens the door to problem solving.

What is your excuse? Have you ever noticed how excuses detract?

After asking for clarification, which would you rather hear, the excuse or a responsible explanation?

Look for the blind spots.

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Blind Spots in Relationships

What I don't know I don't know about myself

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