This week’s topic of EXCUSES has produced lively thought and conversation.
Excuse-making is the opposite of taking personal responsibility and requiring that others do the same.
Excuses are probably least welcome when something has occurred for which we need to apologize.
Kimberly Johnson said: “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” It’s a very common practice in our culture to say things like, “I’m sorry for doing that . . . but I was so upset I just couldn’t help it.”
Apologies are beautiful when one takes sincere and complete ownership for one’s part.
Can you think of a time when you apologized, but diluted the apology with an excuse? How did it turn out?
Ever received an apology that went something like, “I’m sorry, but . . .”? How did it feel to hear that?
Best policy: eliminate excuses altogether.
Among the favorite forms of excuse-making is blaming others or outside circumstances. The entire “reason” that we have manufactured excuses in the past is to point to something different than ourselves to try to make “that” responsible for what happened or didn’t happen.
The dog . . . ate my homework.
That horrible traffic . . . made me late.
My secretary . . . forgot to call you.
The economy . . . keeps my business from growing.
My background . . . didn’t prepare me for life.
Blaming outside circumstances – and especially other people – never makes us look good, so including blame in an excuse is actually a self-defeating strategy.
Can you think of a time when you used blame as part of an excuse? Are there recent examples? Can you recall how that blame-based-excuse was received when you offered it up?
Today, I was scheduled to attend a recurring monthly networking function at 7:30 am. However, as of late last night, I had not completed all of the deliverables that I needed for today’s client meetings, so I decided that I could not attend the event this morning.
Courtesy and professionalism dictate that I be in touch with the group leader to explain my absence. As I mentally composed my email to him, I thought about our topic this week – EXCUSES – and whether my “explanation” was more a reason than an excuse.
I decided that it was truly a reason as I’ve been working diligently on many client and internal deliverables since the busy holiday season. What was most interesting was the connection between INTEGRITY and my examination into that continuum between excuses and reasons. I wanted to be at the networking event, but I had to make a choice between networking and clients.
* Does an excuse have any integrity? Can it?
* Has the word “excuse” come to mean stretching the truth or even being untruthful?
* Do we scorn excuses in our culture – even as we have often made excuses to ourselves and others?
* How do you feel about the often-heard sentence, “That’s just an excuse”?
Tomorrow: Making excuses to ourselves.
Today, we inaugurate a new President.
Our theme this week is EXCUSES!
It’s non-partisan to say that there is NO EXCUSE for not being excited about America’s electing a minority President – a real breakthrough for human relations on the planet.
What else – areas of critical importance in your life – can you say there is NO EXCUSE for? In other words, in what areas of importance can you eliminate excuses?
Please write them down and remember them! Giving up excuses is a powerful step toward more easily and reliably producing the results that you wish to produce.
Regardless of your politics, let’s all celebrate the milestone that the election of a man with a black father and a white mother represents in the history of our country.
No excuses! Celebrate life and possibility!!
This week, we’re discussing excuses . . . those pesky things that have often interfered with our getting the results that we want in life.
How do you feel about excuses . . . When you’ve made them? When others have made them?
Is there any difference between an excuse and a reason? If so, what?
What are the best ways to approach the temptation to make an excuse?