Monday, May 18, 2009

Excuse Me?

The Many Faces of Jodi
Originally uploaded by drewmaniac

An excuse is more difficult to defend than a mistake.

A few weeks ago my wife and I went out to dinner with a friend of ours. We took her to one of our favorite restaurants. Usually the service is great. This time they had a new waiter who was working our table. It didn’t bother us that he was new and made some mistakes. What did bother us was he had a knack for making a mistake and then blaming it on the cook or someone else who wasn’t around.

We all mistakes from time to time. No matter the degree of the mistake, many times the temptation is to come up with some excuse for why. That temptation should be resisted.

When faced with the realization that you've made a mistake, the best medicine is always to take your medicine. Acknowledge the mistake. Say you are sorry or ask for forgiveness if necessary. Correct it. Learn from it. Move forward.

It's not easy, I know. In the heat of the moment it can seem the easiest way out is to give an excuse. But an excuse is always harder to defend than a mistake.

Excuses are never easier, despite what it may seem. An excuse will make matters worse. An excuse reveals a desire to cover up, not repair damage done or change direction. An excuse will make you memorable, but for reasons you don't desire. An excuse can damage trust. That's just naming a few things.

So what if you've made a mistake? It's pretty clear to me that the easiest route is to simply say you are sorry, learn your lesson, and move forward.

" Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself." ~ Henry Ward Beecher


Tim Jahn said...

Mistakes can help you learn and become better. Excuses don't help anyone.

Andrew Weaver said...

"Excuses don't help anyone" - You just nailed it.