How to Build Trust – Stop the Bull Dust Excuses

How to Build Trust – Stop the Bull Dust Excuses

Want to build your personal brand and business reputation?  Then stop giving crappy excuses and start being real and truthful – with yourself and others.

Last week I was crafting an email to someone whom I had put off re-contacting for a few days.  As I was typing the 2nd sentence I knew I was writing absolute bulldust.

Emailing that I had been really busy was not the real reason for my email delay.  I had other reasons.  So with courage, I typed the truth (albeit with respect).   The receiver may or may not have appreciated my truth but either way, it will be the foundation of any future ‘trust-based’ relationship and collaborations.

The timing of that email was rather serendipitous amongst several weeks of being the receiver and observer of a range of ludicrous  dishonest excuse. Sure a few little white fibs are ok to soothe people’s feelings and truths should be delivered with mindfulness and care not to inflict hurt unnecessarily.

In business and workplaces, trust and respect are eroded when nonsense excuses are given to mask incompetence, lack of process, tardy follow-up and due care, diligence, laziness or disinterest.   Taking honest responsibility is such an important attribute of EQ and IQ.     Trust is the front, middle and end of every relationship we have in business and life.  We can only effectively deal with and positively navigate real situations and issues not duplicitous and  fake ones.  It takes too much energy and discourse to invest time and care into a pool of business falsity.

I do understand that stuff happens, life changes on a dime, people do have real issues at play and understanding and flexibility is important.  We are all humans after all.  But in the majority of cases, most excuses are simply crap and a cover up for taking responsibility. We generally ‘feel’ and know when something is not true and the backlash is a lack of trust which reduces confidence and ultimately business profits and reputation. Not smart business or human sense.

I’m sure you have received or delivered some of the following excuses to friends, colleagues, staff, clients, suppliers. But how true were they really?

# I’ve been so slammed and busy   #  I’ve been sick and out of action   # I tried and couldn’t get through to your mobile # I didn’t receive your email/s #  I am booked out solid for XYZ weeks-months  # We had problems with the internet # My bookkeeper should have paid that  #  I didn’t think you would mind # The job has been filled # The client has cancelled # We couldn’t proceed with XYZ #   My car broke down  # I have had family issues  # Unforeseen circumstances occurred # I can’t talk now #  I did not receive your message # Other candidates were a better fit

# You don’t match the criteria # I slept in # I forgot #  Can’t afford it # We don’t have the money # I thought he/she contacted you # I couldn’t get to the meeting/interview  as traffic  # blah blah etc “

So how can you check if you are being given a bull excuse or the truth?

 Easy!  The person will generally do one or more of the following if genuine:

  1. Asks‘how can I make it up to you ‘ or ‘ what can I do now to help’
  2. Shows remorse with sincere apologies &  actions to demonstrate regret
  3. Acknowledges the impact of their actions or behaviours
  4. Visibility as they do not hide away and ignore your calls or emails

Guilt, of course, is a  disempowering and immobilising emotion.   It renders many people to the backblocks never to be seen again for their shame. And shame is certainly an overarching factor of humanity when someone knows they have made a mistake or attempted to deliver untrue excuses.   But owning up is key and most people will graciously accept another person’s realness and honesty.

The business and personal ramifications of nonsense excuses result in loss of $$,  trust and reputation.  It inadvertently also erodes self-esteem.  So how do we stop all the excuse nonsense?  It’s rather simple but does take courage to:

  1. Realise the 1st person you are deluding and lying to is yourself
  2. Accept you are human and do make mistakes
  3. Give others permission to make and admit mistakes too
  4. Be honest – if you don’t wish to deal with someone be truthful (but kind)
  5. Be direct – don’t hide behind others – be honest (respectful and legal)
  6. Own your mistakes, acknowledge their impact offer restitution
  7. Show your remorse by actions – it encourages others to do the same
  8. Put people before profits first and lose your ego
  9.  Don’t turn a blind eye to others nonsense – hold them accountable
  10. Speak your truth with mindfulness, care, and respect

Challenge:  Whenever YOU go to write or say what you know is a bulldust excuse just STOP. Re-write that email, say the real reason and be human & honest.    

Sue Parker

Sue Parker is the founder of DARE Group Australia a leading national communications, LinkedIn and personal branding specialist she works with professional services and executives to help them launch and grow their businesses.


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