“Too bad if I sound rude people should really hear the truth and I think my role is to be the truth teller.”
“I always run late with my assignments, why would anyone believe me when I give them an estimate?”
“The blah-blah human being assessment says that I am this type of person and that is why I (fill-in-the-blank). I cannot help it, it just part of who I am.”
Excuses, excuses. You really do not need to read any more of these do you?
A good excuse is a thing of beauty. It helps you out of difficult situations, it helps people get to know you and it helps take all of that annoying responsibility off of your shoulders. OK, I am kidding. Perhaps the ability to create a believable and reasonable excuse is a skill. Is it a skill you should aspire to? I ask you to consider using your creativity to do something else. Become skillful in verbally painting the picture of why the work you ask from your team is so important. Instead of learning how to create a convincing and empathetic excuse, why not learn to create an inspirational vision for the team to follow? If you cannot use your story telling skills at work, maybe join a creative writing group, or an improvisational acting group.
A specific problem with the excuses that have been included here is that if you use excuses like these, you are preventing your own growth. You have bought into the line of thinking that you simply are not capable of change AND you have given yourself permission to stop trying. I get it, change is hard. It is easier to go ahead and lose your temper and remind people that you are passionate than it is to learn how to hold your temper.
Excuses may help you out of difficult situations. Sometimes this is because your excuse is compelling and other times it is simply because people do not want to deal with someone who has nothing to offer other than excuses. Your excuse does not just help you out of difficult situations, it helps you out of opportunities too. Why would I allow you to work with a difficult but rewarding client if you cannot manage your temper? I do not care how exciting and passionate your family is. In this way your excuse has absolutely taken responsibility off of your shoulders. You think it takes away the need for you to learn how to manage your temper, while I think it takes away the need for you to worry about the responsibility of advancement.
Excuses do help people to get to know you. Whether you know it or not, your excuses teach people your weaknesses and they teach people which weaknesses you are not willing to work on. The excuse you use to hide behind is in fact very illuminating. Your excuse shines a spotlight on the very thing you are trying to conceal. It is like a banner that says, “LOOK OUT bad temper ahead. Keep Away!” A better use of that spotlight would be to stand in it as a person who understands one of their key weaknesses and is willing to work on it. That is like a banner that says, “LOOK HERE, this is a strong and admirable person. A role model for others!”
Posted: September 17th, 2012 under Leadership, Personal Development, Professional development.
Tags: a bunch of excuses, full of excuses, it's not my fault, stop making excuses, stop making excuses for yourself
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