Why We Make Excuses

Listening to the news or observing colleagues and direct reports at work can, at times, be both frustrating and depressing. When asked to justify a decision or explain why something did not happen as planned, many people feel compelled to explain why it was not their fault—and if only they had known a particular fact or if only someone else had done something differently, the less-than-ideal outcome could have been altered.
We’ve all heard the excuses. Excuse making, it seems, is a way of life for many people. In fact, acknowledgement of accountability has become such a rare event that when someone actually does the right thing, we feel compelled to heap praise on that person. Why is it so tough for people to kick the ...

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