A Person Who Buys Excuses

“A person who buys excuses will soon attempt to sell them to others.”

—Orrin Woodward, Author and Chairman of Board of Life

A wise coach once told me that no results and a good excuse still produced no results. What is your relationship with making or receiving excuses, personally or professionally?

For some it appears as a Get-Out-of-Jail Card, like in a Monopoly game, where we expect a free pass. For others it is to sail through obstacles or barriers simply because we had good intentions.

EXERCISE:

What would be the benefit or value of limiting or eliminating the buying and selling of excuses? In what specific situation or with what specific person could you begin this practice today?

Never Ruin an Apology

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

—Ben Franklin, American Founding Father

Cartoon saying "I'm so so so sorry!"

Image from LinkedIN

Don’t ever add the word “But” to an apology. The act of making excuses or justifying your actions has you actually blaming the other person for your poor behavior rather than offering a genuine apology.

Here are a few suggestions to consider when apologizing:

  • Beginning your apology with the words, “I’m Sorry,” or “I Apologize” expresses genuine remorse. Make sure you do this as soon as possible.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine how they felt. The ability to empathize with others makes it far easier to admit responsibility.
  • Take action to make the situation right. You can ask the person you wronged what you could do, beyond your apology, to make things right.
  • Promising that you won’t repeat the action or behavior helps rebuild trust in the relationship.

EXERCISE:

Examine a situation in which you can summon the courage to offer a sincere apology to someone who matters in your life, personally or professionally.

Feel free to reply to this post and let me know what happens.