When problems occur within organizations, the typical response is for people to point fingers and blame someone else. This happens at all levels within the organization. Frontline employees blame upper management. Senior managers blame middle managers, and everyone blames the weather or the economy. When problems occur, placing blame usually does not help resolve the problems.
When a problem occurs, instead of placing blame, apply the following principles to help resolve the problem faster and more satisfactorily:
Realize that blaming doesn’t help. Although placing blame may seem to give you relief or make you feel better, it rarely helps resolve conflict or solve problems. More often, blaming puts others on the defensive and causes them to stop cooperating with us. Blaming increases the emotional intensity of a conflict. Blaming also changes the focus of the parties involved in the conflict. Instead of searching for solutions or practical alternatives, the conflicting parties defend themselves from blame, and counterattack the other party.
? Stop focusing on the negative. Look for the positive characteristics in others who are involved in the problem. Don’t define your relationship with them solely in terms of the conflict or the problem.
? Look for the learning in the situation. What can you learn from the situation that will help you get better? What can you learn that will help you prevent the problem from recurring?
? Concentrate on what you can do. Focus on what’s within your control. If something is not within your control, don’t worry about it because you can?t change it anyway. Although you can blame the weather or the economy, you can?t change either.
? Don’t take it personally or too seriously. Remember the old adage, “don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.” When others blame you, realize that they are probably reacting to stress or pressure from the situation. Taking attacks personally puts you on the defensive. Don’t take it personally. Stay focused on solving the problem.
When problems occur, resist pointing fingers and placing blame. You?ll solve problems faster and build better relationships by overcoming blame and working together to find practical options.
by Terry Bragg