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How to Give an Effective Explanation (Not an Excuse)

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https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-provide-explanations-that-dont-sound-like-thats-not-my-fault-excuses

themuse.com

How to Give an Effective Explanation (Not an Excuse)
You just dropped the ball. But, here's the thing you want everybody to know: It absolutely wasn't all your fault. Nope, those good-for-nothing folks in the marketing department were late in getting you the information you desperately needed. Or, something weird happened with your calendar app and all of your dates got mixed up.

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Avoid Qualifiers

Prefacing your explanation with things like, “I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, but…” can send the wrong message.

Jump right in with the information that's relevant and im...

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Apologize

Not being able to deliver on what was expected of you warrants an apology - even if there were other factors contributing to the situation.

An apology demonstrates that you accept responsibil...

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Move On

Acknowledge your mistakes and be willing to learn from them. Share exactly how you will avoid this same problem in the future.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

6 Components of a good apology

  1. Expression of regret
  2. Explanation of what went wrong
  3. Acknowledgment of responsibility
  4. Declaration of repentance
  5. Offer of repair
  6. Request for forgiveness

Communicate Effectively And Sincerely

The content of an apology is only half the battle. The delivery matters as well. If you mumble, avert eye contact, or stand in the corner with your arms crossed, it won’t matter what you say. 

No matter how much damage was done, a sincere apology restores faith.

The Courage To Apologize

Saying you’re sorry is uncomfortable. It can be hard to admit your shortcomings and acknowledge your mistakes. But taking responsibility is the key to restoring trust.

Manipulation by passive and covert aggression

Manipulation by passive and covert aggression
  • Passive-aggression is an indirect way to go on the offensive. An example is when someone tries to "get you back" by resisting cooperation and giving you the "...

What a covert aggressive looks like

  • They pretend to be innocent, ignorant, or confused when they did something awful. This tactic is to make you question your judgment.
  • They don't give a straight answer to a straight question, but evade the question or change the subject when cornered.
  • They lie by omission or distortion by deliberately being vague.
  • They may either respond with charm and flattery, of will suddenly be angry.
  • They'll play the victim and make themselves out to be the one in distress.
  • They rationalize by giving a plausible excuse for engaging in inappropriate behavior, or they will downplay their behavior.
  • Covert aggressives don't feel bad, but they know you do. They will send you on a guilt trip so you will lighten your accusations.

How to deal with a covert-aggressive person

  • Let go of the pretense that if you play nice, they will play nice.
  • Know your vulnerabilities and focus on the one thing that really needs to change: yourself. You can only control what you do.
  • Set some boundaries for yourself. Be prepared for the consequences and set a support system.
  • Memorize the list of tactics used by an aggressive person. Then it is easier to recognize the attack.
  • If you're willing to accept an excuse, know that they will fling excuses at you until one stick.
  • Stay calm and polite, and avoid sarcasm, hostility, or threats.
  • Without being rude, be specific about what you expect or want from the other person. Aggressives will only participate if they can get something out of it. If they have to lose, they'll make sure you go down too. Ensure you propose win-win solutions

Bullet journal...

...is a planner system devised by Ryder Carrol.

It is a blank journal that houses a combination of certain elements, that allow you to plan for the future, track the past, and keep your sanit...

Supplies needed to get started with BuJo

You can start a bullet journal in pretty much any empty notebook that you have lying around. That’s all you need. A journal and a pen. 

However, it is much more likely to use a bullet journal every day when getting some joy from the materials you're using. That means that a nicer journal and some bright, funky pens are also a great way to get started and enjoy the process a bit more. 

Future Log

A page where you can write down any future appointments or dates for a month you haven’t set up yet

That way you can easily reference it to see if there’s a dentist appointment coming up or a deadline sneaking up on you.

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Belonging To A group

Quickest way to add meaning to your life is to see your group of people more often. 

Not part of a group? Join one. No groups to join? Start one. It’s as easy as texting people to...

Give Your Work A Purpose

It is less about what you do and more about how you see what you do.

Qualities a purpose needs:

  • It's a stable and far-reaching goal. You need something that motivates you and that you can organize your actions around.
  • It involves a contribution to the world. It makes a difference in the lives of people who don’t happen to be you.

Craft Your Story

You have a story you tell yourself about your life — whether you realize it or not.

A trend in the stories that people with meaningful lives tell themselves -  redemption stories: the tellers move from suffering to salvation — they experience a negative event followed by a positive event that resulted from the negative event and therefore gives their suffering some meaning.

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How to overcome burnout

  • Prioritise Nourishment.  Get quality rest, eat food that will fuel your body's recovery, exercise gently, get fresh air and also nourish your heart.
  • Acknowledge You...

"In a fast-moving, competitive world, being able to learn new skills is one of the keys to success. It’s not enoug..."

Heidi Grant Halvorson

Check your readiness

Learning a new skill takes commitment. And there are certain limits to what you can learn. So, before starting working on a new skill, ask yourself:

  • If your goal really is attainable
  • How much time and energy you can give to this process.

Make sure it’s needed

Make sure the skills you've chosen are relevant to your career, your organization, or both. 

Gaining a new skill is an investment and you need to know upfront what the return will be.

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Pointless Criticism

In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.

It’s easy enoug...

Blaming

When you blame someone, you take any responsibility off of yourself and put it on them. 

It’s understandable that you want to express your dissatisfaction with something. But sometimes you need to express it in order to find a solution, not to point singers.

Ineffective Complaining

Complaining is exhausting because it puts pressure on the other person. 

Complaining often results in the other person feeling as if they should somehow “fix” the problem or else just get away from the complaining. 

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Messing up at work

Overcoming mistakes at work starts with a difficult conversation.

Though it may not seem like it, your aim is actually to increase the amount of trust you get from your boss. If t...

Don’t hide from your mistake

As soon as you find out that you have made a mistake, reach out to talk about it with your boss. 

If your boss requires an appointment, set one up right away—with some urgency. The less time you wait, the better. This will allow for a faster fix of any potential negative consequences.

Be clear about what went wrong

Start with a few simple declarative sentences. “I did X. As a result, Y happened.”

You can provide more context afterward, but it’s critical to lay out clearly what happened. Also, leave explanations for when the problem is fixed.

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Excuses

People use excuses to rationalize their actions regarding their circumstances, their actions toward other people, and regarding certain events. It is also one of the primary reasons why people are ...

Stop comparing

When you are comparing yourself to others, you are probably only seeing part of the whole picture.

If you are making an excuse not to try something new, because you are comparing yourself to others who are experts in the field, remember that they were also inexperienced at some stage.

Stop fearing the unknown

The unknown can be scary, but it may not be a negative thing. Many good things can come from taking a step into the unknown.

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness is choosing to not let negative events of the past define how you feel.

Forgiveness can keep your emotional body healthy. It increases feelings of happiness and decreases ...

Forgiving is not the same as forgetting

You can forgive someone and still maintain a boundary. They may not even necessarily know you forgave them.

When you hold onto anger towards yourself or others, it weighs you down, drains your energy and increases your stress.

Living in the past

Resentment forces you to live in the past by fixing that person to that past moment.

Do not let yourself or the relationship be defined by anger. The ability to forgive and move on is critical for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with the people you care about.

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