When anything goes wrong the first thing most people want to do is assign blame. It is a natural instinct, but it is like a knee jerk reaction most of the time and seldom proves to be the reason for failure.
It is so easy to blame someone else or something else for the failure. It takes the responsibility away from the real reason that the failure was experienced.
I often deal with this when I am working with different departments in various companies. Whenever something goes awry the first reaction is to assign blame elsewhere. The other department didn’t provide the right information or someone else didn’t do their job. There was no investigation, no facts were considered, and no thought was put into why this situation developed. Just blame someone else because we always do everything right.
This might sound like a great way to CYOA but once the company (or the consultant in my case) starts to drill down, will you be prepared for what they might find?
The problem is usually not as simple as assigning blame to another department or co-worker.
There is almost always some follow up that wasn’t done that could have avoided the result all together. I often find that when we are working through an issue, the fear of not being right is worse than the risk of getting it wrong.
It means that people only want to take ownership if they know for sure that it will be perfect. But by not wanting to admit they were wrong, they lose the opportunity to learn from the mistake and to gain the knowledge needed to be able to strive for perfect the next time.
Instead, they hide the mistake or mask it and sweep it under the rug as quickly as possible. The root of the problem was never addressed. Maybe the blame went to someone that doesn’t even know they were being blamed for the problem. The person that is knee deep in it, fixes it for the person that they are blaming and Voila! the problem is resolved and forgotten.
But what was gained from this?
Who really fails in the end? It is obviously, the person that is afraid to face their own shortcomings. This person will never acquire the skills needed to do the job flawlessly. They will always find themselves knee deep in it and looking to blame someone else for it. It is a cycle that will repeat itself until someone breaks the cycle.
That is what I do. I break the cycle by making it safe for someone to admit they caused the failure or realize they were in a position to prevent it if they had followed some simple steps.
It is how we look at things that shapes the experiences we have, whether it is at work, or in our personal lives. The principles that we teach apply to all the hours of our day.
When someone is looking at their life, I often ask them, Who do you blame for your failures?
Seldom do they say themselves. But this is the first step to growing. It is when you take personal responsibility for where you are right now that will allow you to start to focus on where you want to go.
Until then, you will always be looking to assign blame, always looking for the quick fix, and you will always be wondering why the problem keeps coming back.
W.T. Hamilton is the co-author of Your Invincible Power series of books and the President of the Your Invincible Power Company. We have created a series of books and coaching programs to assist in the understanding and use the Law of Attraction in everyday situation.