I don’t like blame but not because I feel the person blaming me is attacking me or out to get me. I don’t like blame because it means I did something wrong, or missed something, I’m disappointed in myself but ready to fix the issue and learn from it.
People need to move past the blame mentality. Blame is not a bad word. When I do something wrong and another person points it out, they are not attacking me, they are showing me a mistake and helping me to correct it.
I’m not afraid of blame and that allows me the freedom to think outside the box, to try things even if they might seem a little unorthodox, and to view criticism as opportunity for improvement.
When my staff makes a mistake and I investigate and find the cause of the mistake I’m not blaming someone so they can get in trouble, or so I can fire them, I’m simply pointing out an error so it doesn’t happen again. If they don’t learn from it then I need to figure out why and if the same mistake is repeated then, yes, there will be consequences.
Everyone has two choices when someone “blames” them for something:
1. Get mad and upset which leads to a bad attitude
2. Be thankful someone caught the issue before it became a bigger problem, fix it, and become better
Which will you choose?
If you choose option one then you are locked in a mentality of cover-up, fear, and passing the buck. All of that leads to a bad workplace, a bad marriage, and bad relationships.
The second choice gives you power; power to take control of the situation and to learn from mistakes which leads to open communication, the freedom to think differently, the comfort to speak up.
The bottom line is that we all have to re-think the word blame and recognize it for what it really is, a path to improvement.
So I pledge that if I mess up and you blame me, I’ll thank you and we will all be better for it.