If I had to choose one human behavior that I have very little tolerance for, it would be that of someone “Making Excuses.” However, if you are interacting with other people, it's difficult for a day or even an hour to go by, without being subjected to some type of excuse as to why someone didn't do something they promised or were expected to do as part of their responsibilities. In this lesson, we will discuss why you should make every effort possible to always come through on your promises and avoid making excuses.
Even the best among us forget to do something from time to time. If this temporary lapse of memory strikes you, why not just say, “I'm sorry… I just forgot?” Then immediately and humbly proceed to remedy the situation QUICKLY! Instead, what typically follows someone’s excuse is a long explanation about whom or what was to blame, with no remedy suggested to fix the situation.
Excuses come in all types and sizes. When someone fails to come through on a promise you'll hear, “I'm so busy; overworked; underpaid; overwhelmed or stressed out.” When they are late: “It was so crowded; a traffic jam; the bad weather; ran out of gas or a flat tire.” When a company representative on the phone doesn't call you back about a problem, they usually resort to: “My computer was down; it's company policy; we can't; we don't or we won't.”
All of these excuses benefit no one. Excuses will raise the blood pressure of those subjected to them and lowers the self esteem of those who administer them. Relationships, individuals, companies and enterprises all suffer from the fallout of people making lame excuses resulting in lose-lose relationships.
When dealing with an individual or a company, you really don’t want to hear excuses. You want to deal with someone that you know will come through. You want to be able to trust that something will get done. You don’t want to have to wonder if you’ll get a bunch of excuses instead.
The person making the excuses will always lose credibility. His or her self esteem is destined to drop since they know that they’ve made a mistake and only had excuses to give. Many times their excuse was a fabricated lie.
If you want to build your self esteem and create win-win relationships, STOP making excuses. Do everything humanly possible to always come through on your promises and commitments. It's better to be selective and stingy when it comes to making any promise or commitment. If you must, learn to say NO more often than YES. But when you agree and commit to something…DO IT!
Always come through on your promises. If you say that you’ll get it done by Monday, have it done by Monday. If you say that you’ll be at an appointment at 10:00am, be there at 10:00am. When you come through, excuses are unnecessary and you feel great about yourself. You have less stress to deal with and your attitude will be better.
If something absolutely prevents you from coming through, then take full responsibility for it. Don’t start pointing fingers at other things or events. You’ll save your credibility with the person that you are dealing with if they see that you took responsibility for the situation. They’ll get a sense that this is a deviation from the norm; that you are trustworthy; and they’ll give you another shot.
People are usually very good at spotting an excuse versus a genuine event which prevents the completion of a task. Let those genuine events be the only things that will ever stop you from coming through. You’ll make your life so much easier by just coming through as promised.
Finally, if you fail to get something done on time, make an effort to remedy the situation IMMEDIATELY. A good example would be the following, “Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the task. I am very sorry and I take full responsibility for the situation. However, I was able to contact my associate at the last second, and he was able to complete the task for me.” Showing that you took full responsibility and were able to put out an effort to try to remedy the situation will keep you in good standing.
Just think of what a great world it would be if everyone lived up to their potential and responsibilities without ever making excuses. Spread this message and perhaps we could all make a small difference toward a better world.