Lets do a quick poll on the most common excuses of all time.
Well I’m quite certain there are more brilliant lame excuses one can give than the list mentioned above. So when you say them,people know that youre just giving a whole lot of bullshit.However in the politically correct world that we live in, one can’t say that upfront and direct, like on your face.I’m sure it does happen in some cases,but by and large people at the receiving end of a lame excuse try to counter it with logic and reasoning.Which in my opinion is another big bullshit.Some even try to threaten with more work or pending work to induce a sense of guilt and or create a fear psychosis for the next time you turn up for work.
- Late for Monday morning meeting?
- Fever on Friday’s?
- Not feeling well?
- Stomach problem.
- Death in the family.
So it is important to have a lame excuse handler methodology.Like a guide book or FAQ section in every work place. ITs like what we did back in school – match the correct option :
- Headache : Hangover
- Tummy Ache : Excess sea-food.
- Stuck in Traffic : Overslept.
- Fever Friday : Party coming up.
Every new manager should be made aware of these excuses and trained how to handle them. There is one slight problem though. What if the problem is genuine ? Then does it constitute to an excuse or a reason ? What is your reaction then or action thereafter? Sometimes there is no other way but to shrug it off as a one of case and move on.More so if the employee has been consistent with all other parameters at work.
Then there are those type of employees who are top performers,and then think like they are God’s gift to mankind.The shield their in discipline with great performance.They expect a certain degree of latitude while dealing with them. They need more attention,more coaxing. So what does a manager do? He has a deadline to meet, a number to get, an example to set and if that was not enough he has a report to make accounting for all of the above.
The situation compounds if the excuses,turn out to be real issues.And some managers become so cynical that sometimes land up being insensitive and blind towards their team members.Some managers equate their past behavior and excuse with their current expectations.If they never had a cold or cough on a Friday,then no one else can have that as well.If they regularly fell sick on Monday mornings,then it was always grave and genuine.
So in conclusion,I’d like to propose a three point plan :
- Set upfront contracts for rules of engagement.
- Lead by example.
- Create a sense of belonging/good atmosphere at work.
Im not saying all your excuse management problems will get resolved, but they will reduce.The idea is to minimize as much as possible.Yet remain attentive,sensitive to a genuine situation and be strict about false excuses.As much as you dislike it,there will come a time when you might have a situation,where the only phrase that comes to your bosses mind is “what a lame excuse” !!