All of us have to an extent, although the level being subjective and relative to one’s definition, been a leader for groups that you formed or were part of and lead by you for a purpose. How did it feel when you found out that your team were covering their gap of underperformance with excuses?
I am highly unlikely to take excuses in the place of answers and solutions, and my mind always struggles when I try to understand how indifferent a person can be.
Conflicting the mind, my soul, on the other hand, tells I can never be in the other person’s shoe and hence must shut up with the complaining. For in the past, I have, in plenty circumstances, given excuses myself.
Have you experienced this sense of Arggghhhhhhhhhh!?
“Oh God Damn It! For once, why can’t they get it? Is it that hard?”
This is a classic statement that goes on loop when a reply from the team starts off with an excuse. I begin laying out all possible ways the work could have been completed (my mind working faster than usual) and stop when I reach a point where I think that things would have been easier if I had done it myself.
Frustrated that time was lost, I get worked up. Overthinking on how the team missed out on doing it and getting pissed off can be a lose-lose situation.
It is true what the soul says. You can never understand the perspective of another completely. Looking back at times when I gave excuses, all I wanted to do was to skip the drudgery of work with excuses somehow. When the table shifted, what was once a boon became a bane now. “Doublethink” standards as explained in 1984.
Quieting the conflict:
Being on the front line with the team, even if it is their work to do, is a possible way to avoid this conflict and can give better results than expected.
An organised approach is one part your mind should play. Regular reminders, pitching in when needed and encouragement can be best buddies to avoid conflict before your Arrghhhhh sense gets activated.
A point that is repeatedly emphasised in An Everyone Culture is that a leader must be open and inviting rather than closed and commanding. I, 100%, second this thought. Making sure your team knows that you will be willing to lend an ear saves you a whole lot of trouble of receiving excuses when it is too late.