When we think of making excuses, our mind usually defaults to the “reasons” we neglect to perform a task or handle an assigned responsibility. It’s not always intentional and can stem from the fact that we’re all so much “busier,” but too many excuses can be dangerous, both professionally and personally.
News stories come out daily where you hear people trying to rationalize or justify something they’ve said or done. When you must explain repeatedly, it just makes it worse.
And, we don’t want to confuse an excuse for an error, at least for the initial “mistake.”
You hire an IT person to take on a specific responsibility. You set agreed-upon deadlines, and you outline the specifics of the first crucial task. The two of you discuss how important the timeline is, as others cannot do their part on this project until this stage is complete. The IT person acknowledges understanding and promises to make the company proud.
For positions such as IT, it’s a sticky road as we hire them because they know more than we do, which can be detrimental. It takes a good manager to do that, as exemplary leaders surround themselves with people who know more than they do. The IT person in the example should not take advantage of that fact, and after three stages of excuses, providing you had conversations early on, it should be the equivalent of receiving “three strikes.”
Excuses can quickly become a habit that’s difficult to break. When it becomes second nature, you’ll find that even the little things (mistakes) become just an excuse, which is much easier than acknowledging the error. And even when you begin with good intentions by saying, “I’m so sorry, but I made a mistake,” it’s easy to finish the sentence with “but, this is what happened…”