Excuses vs. Admissions

I don't have an internet connection at the new house yet. It comes tomorrow afternoon. But I'm here at the library because I'm suffering from blog and email withdrawal.

I seem to notice things everywhere that make me think of business, and moving is no exception. Normally, I like to spread it out over 2 weeks and get both places in a state where I can live in either one. This time, I had about 36 hours of overlap between both houses, so things had to be done quickly. I had to deal with 12-15 people all together, to get utilities, periodical subscriptions and various other things switched from one address to another. Most of them were very helpful, but a few of them dropped the ball. Three of them in particular really did a poor job because they forgot to do something at the right time.

This happens a lot in business. If you manage people, you place certain expectations on them and even if you are crystal clear about those expectations, they will sometimes not follow through and complete the task on time or in the appropriate manner. What happens? Usually they give an excuse. They make something up. They say they have it done but won't be at their computer for two hours, and will send it to you then. Then they go and do it real quick. That's what happened with two of the three people that made my move difficult. They gave excuses which I think they are making up. They are blaming other people, yada yada yada. But one brave soul that messed up just flat out told me she forgot. You know what? I am not frustrated with her at all the way I am with the others.

How to Keep Your Employees Happy Without Giving Them a Raise

Nobody likes to screw up. But admitting you are wrong eases the tension and puts the focus on a solution. Making up a poor excuse makes you look like someone who can't get things done. Apologizing is hard, but in the long run, I think it makes you look better than excuses ever can.