The Excuse Meter: Yikes! Stop Before You Reach the Top | #PeopleSkills

How often do you give excuses and almost reach the top of the excuse meter? Your immediate reaction to this question may be, very rarely. However if you look more closely at your daily interaction, you may discover that you give many reasons why you did something. More often than not, this comes across as excuses. So reflect on the last few days and ask yourself, how high on the excuse meter did I go? To do this, check this list of how you disguise your excuses in the first place.



Excuse Meter: Image is sign saying Don't make excuses make good.

Excuse Meter: Stop Before You Reach the Top! Image by Chris Piascik via Flick Creative Commons License.

Image by Chris Piascik via Flickr Creative Commons License.



Beware the Excuse Meter! Stop Before the Top

Here are some of the most common ways people disguise excuses as something else.

  • A mere accident. When you quickly reply, “I didn’t mean anything by it,” you are giving an excuse. You are also insulting others by focusing on defending your actions instead of offering a pure heartfelt apology for your offense. And yes, you are headed to the top of the excuse meter!

  • Other person’s over sensitivity. If you catch yourself saying, they are too sensitive etc… you are offering them up as the excuse. It also comes across as blame. You are shattering trust while showing your immaturity. Be accountable without excuses!

  • Perfection defense. If you don’t deliver on a promise and then say “I’m not perfect”, you are headed for the top of the excuse meter. You are overlooking the impact you had on others and running scared. Far better to apologize, correct your mistake, and compensate for the impact on them.

  • And the ever popular …

  • Alternate narrative. Some people are so incapable of apologizing for their mistakes, they rewrite what happened. For example, someone tells you that you have insulted them. If you respond, “I’m sorry IF I insulted you”, you have changed the truth into a maybe. you are digging yourself deeper into a hole. Instead, dig deep to offer an unconditional apology.

  • Mundane list of reasons why. I was tired, hungry, busy, distracted, overworked, …. and the list goes on. And with every item on the list, you are climbing to the top of the excuse meter.


Excuses derail conversations, relationships, and professional success.

Picture how wonderful it is to be around and work with someone who is accountable instead of sidestepping with excuses. Leaders who don’t sidestep their mistakes inspire everyone. Teammates who admit responsibility build trust. Customer service professionals who don’t give excuses to customers, build brand loyalty.


What You Can’t Ever Get With Excuses

Oh the joy of being around people who don’t give excuses. It makes life simple in the midst of other stress. And when people know you as a highly accountable, they will seek you out for great possibilities. So remember to stay away from the excuse meter!


How have the excuses you received affected you and your view of others?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
7 Benefits of Being Highly Accountable
Rebuild Respect: Steps From Conditional to Unconditional Apologies

©2020 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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