Stop Playing "The Blame Game"

Finding Solutions Rather Than Finding Fault

Stop the blame game.

© iStockphoto

Imagine this scenario: You and your team spend weeks putting together a presentation to bring in a big new client for your company. But the presentation doesn't go well, and the potential client walks away.

A few days later, you and your team answer questions from senior-level management – and the blame begins. It starts with "Well, this presentation topic wasn't MY idea," and it quickly moves on to "I think Susan should have organized the slides better." Before you know it, an hour has gone by – and the team is still going in circles, trying to figure out who's at fault, and why.

Have you ever played "the blame game"? It's all too common in the workplace. While it's important to look at – and learn from – mistakes, it's also critical that we don't get caught up in whose fault it is. Sorting through a messy situation should always come first. Once you deal with the situation, then you can begin the process of figuring out what went wrong. Pointing the finger of blame is rarely constructive.

In the above scenario, wouldn't it have been much better for the team to sit down and discuss what happened? They could have figured out what the client really wanted, what the team did well, and what the team didn't do well. And they could have learned from the situation, instead of spending all their time and energy blaming someone for what went wrong.

We'll show you why playing the blame game doesn't help, how to identify when you or your team is playing the game, and how to move on and learn from the situation.

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