Excuses can seem like perfectly plausible reasons for not doing something you said you’d do, but over time, if no one calls you on them, they can be habit-forming.
And accepting excuses from employees is a surefire way to encourage repetition of the behavior as well as to demoralize staffers who do meet their commitments.
Do you think it matters to a customer that you have “a good excuse” for the rude behavior of the customer service rep? Does it make it okay with your client that you have “a good excuse” for missing the delivery date?
Refusing to entertain excuses
Managers who achieve great results refuse to entertain excuses. Rather than excuses, high-achievers look at the facts that may require a change of approach, but they never make excuses.
A planning oversight or an new set of circumstances don’t mean you abandon your goal. They just mean that the results will have to be achieved in a different way.
If you are an “excuse-aholic” or let employees repeatedly get away with this behavior, don’t beat yourself up. Just decide that from this moment on, you will no longer accept excuses.
This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.