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Well, here is what you should NOT do...

You're late for a meeting. What do you do?

2021 July 13 | by Arduino Mancini Survival Tactics

Do you use to justify your delay, even though no one asked you to?

And what justification you use to placate the irritation of people who are waiting for you?

Here are some, among the most popular ones:

  • Traffic like never before!
  • The alarm clock didn’t go off…
  • My son didn’t want to get up!

There are more creative ones:

  • The car just stalled and didn’t want to start.
  • Some idiot double-parked and I couldn’t get out.
  • Two crashed just in front of me.

What saves you from the embarrassment?

Of course, the rush of resuming the outstanding meeting because of your delay; you get back to work and move on.

The question I would like to answer is this:

why do we want so much to justify our behaviour?

The intent is to convey a message that sounds something like this:

Don’t think that I had more important things to do, or that I have no respect for your time.
What happened is out of my control: without drawbacks, I would have been right on time!

What are our chances of achieving the goal with such a message?

Few, definitely, even when it comes to people who are usually on time to justify themselves.

What to do then?

Experience suggests apologizing for the delay, as good manners also dictate, but to

resist the temptation to give explanations,
providing them only if expressly requested.

I know, managing anxiety is tough, but it will help you avoid situations like the one in the cartoon…

Don’t you think?

PS: In the unlucky case that someone asks you to explain your delay, I would suggest you avoid “imaginative” justifications…

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