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Blaming Denial

I have an employee who often fails to meet standards and deadlines on the projects I give her, but she always has an excuse. Never once has she said that a poor outcome is her fault. I am tired of the excuses, and I am wondering how to deal with them.

If your employee frequently fails and then conjures up endless excuses, she actually sounds like a poor excuse for an employee. However, before reaching that conclusion, you need to do some fact-checking.

Although unlikely, it is possible that she has somehow been a victim of an outrageous set of negative coincidences that have legitimately prevented her from performing well. You should look into the excuses that she is presenting. If you find that they are seemingly legitimate, it may be time to provide her with additional guidance and support.

However, if her excuses all follow a similar questionable pattern, such as by consistently laying the blame on others, then it is time to let her know that you are not buying her excuses. You should provide her with a clear explanation of the ways in which specific aspects of her performance caused the failure in question.

On future assignments, be sure she understands what is expected of her in all senses of the word, and carefully monitor her progress. It will not take long for you to see if she has opted for personal responsibility or personal irresponsibility. Once she makes her decision, you should make yours.

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