Tuesday, September 30, 2014
This article from the Wall Street Journal surveys several business experts and academics for tips on how to make excuses for a botched job that have a better chance of being well received by the boss. That's not to suggest anyone interviewed for this article thinks mistakes or the excuses that inevitably follow are ever a good thing. But since we all mess-up once in a while, it's good to have some well-informed advice handy for delivering the mea culpa in a manner that may minimize the damage. You can read the full WSJ column here but below are summarized some of the key points.
- Give truthful specific reasons for the mishap and show empathy for anyone who was harmed.
- Showing sincerity and sympathy for those harmed tends to increase acceptance.
- Provide a detailed, factual explanation and avoid vagueness
- Managers can avoid lame excuses by emphasizing solutions over blame dodging.
- Excuses based on circumstances outside your control are more likely to receive a positive reception - but only the first or second time you use it.
- People are more receptive to an excuse if indicated no harm was intended
- Making a preemptive excuse before you start the task can engender sympathy but again, this only works once or twice.
- The excuse must be substantial enough to match the harm done.
Continue reading the WSJ here.
Hat tip to the ABA Journal Blog.