Meredith Nicoll is a musicologist and singer living in Germany.
To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST
MEREDITH: Hi Zak, this is Meredith and my piece of advice is for chronically tardy people...like myself. hahah. In the past I would show up in a chaotic mess, usually and apologize and say oh my god, I'm so sorry but this and this happened and this and this got in my way and I decided to stop the excuse part. I still apologize but keep it very short and sincere and then I leave it at that and I focus then on the meeting that I'm supposed to be that and the important thing in the moment. That is unless, of course, the person wants an excuse or they're angry and then I tell them because the socially-acceptable excuse is traffic or you know, the normal ones. They don't really satisfy very much. I say, "I know I'm late. I really am working on how not to be late and the strategies that I have didn't work today. I'm really sorry." And this has two great benefits. First of all, it kind of neutralizes the situation and it's really hard for the person to get mad at a person who is taking responsibility and has an action plan for not doing it again. And second of all, for me personally also when I give an excuse that's kind of the generic, socially acceptable excuse...is it then causes me also to believe them when in fact it wasn't traffic it was because I didn't set an alarm when I started watching YouTube or I didn't put my keys next to the door so I couldn't find them and therefore I missed the bus. It is super uncomfortable not saying anything or not going into to detail about why I was late but I've found not giving excuses in that very moment really helps me be honest with myself and makes me more responsible to other people.
ZAK: Today's episode pairs especially well with Emily Barr's advice.
EMILY: One of the things that I have learned is that when you screw up on the job you do something wrong. the best thing you can do is go right in to your boss or call them or whatever and just say, hey, I really screwed up.