Blaming others for our mistakes, rather than owning the problem, is a common way to avoid facing the truth. Marshall Goldsmith bluntly said, “When we make excuses, we are blaming someone or something beyond our control as the reason for our failure.”
But just how many excuses and mistakes should leaders tolerate in the workplace? And what can be done about them – especially the mistake of blaming the wrong person?
Instead of the usual knee-jerk reactions to poor performance, what if managers began:
- Rewarding people for efforts made instead of focusing on mistakes
- Creating a culture where others are encouraged to learn from mistakes
- Developing ways to constructively deal with mistakes and avoid humiliation
These are three examples of better choices that can go a long way toward putting a stop to the all too familiar act of blaming others, fostering an attitude of taking responsibility and owning problems when they occur.
The leader who refuses to condone finger-pointing gains respect and loyalty from members of his or her team. The respect deepens and trust is built when the same leader addresses mistakes that cannot be excused, without making a public display of those involved, taking measures to use the experience to educate, instead.
Leaders Transcend Mistakes and Create Opportunities
Every step ever taken has involved the risk of stumbling and falling short of the goal. If you’ve ever watched a toddler learning to walk, you understand the analogy.
- Excuses keep people from taking the all-important first steps
- Fear of falling short will keep them from continuing to make an effort
- Getting the necessary support encourages them to get back up and back on track
- Confidence grows with every step taken and innovations are discovered when the focus is no longer on the mistakes
Don’t overlook the many successes will happen along the way toward the ultimate goal. Take the opportunity to recognize and reward each one with a kind word (at the very least).
3 Better Choices
The next time:
- something doesn’t work out quite the way you envisioned
- the results are less than desirable
be the professional who sets an example for stopping the blame, starting with these 3 Better Choices:
- A Productive Response
- A Positive Perspective
- A Performance Improvement Plan
Quality can never take a back seat to ‘hurt feelings’ in the workplace. Expectations are high on both sides of the fence between corporations and the consumers they serve. In today’s social media driven society, one unhappy customer can greatly impact your bottom line – and fast!
If you’re looking for ways to increase and manage the quality of work performed within your organization without diminishing the passion and enthusiasm of employees and co-workers, consider becoming a Corporate Coach – a great career choice for anyone who has had at least seven years of professional or business experience.
Our unique two-day training centers around creating a culture of quality that understands and values the personalities, education, skills, and talents of those who make it possible for your company to achieve success.