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Leave Blame Behind

"It wasn't my fault."

"I wasn't even there."

"I think it happened on the other shift."

"They are always messing things up."

Who's to blame? When things go wrong, when a customer gets angry, when a supplier raises prices, when things don't go as you planned. Who's to blame?

Will it even help if you could pin that down to one person? Will pouring guilt or punishment on a person solve your problem? Probably not.

But people do it all the time. It becomes part of the conversation before we even realize it. 

Blaming others is so easy that many people don't even know they are doing it.

What if we stopped blaming others? What if instead, we worked together to find solutions, better ways of doing things, and ways to avoid what caused our problem to begin with?

It's OK to find constructive suggestions to offer to people who need it. But they need more. And problems need more in order to solve.

To arrive at our best possible outcome, we need to work together and attack the situation, not the person. How can we change the process, the procedure, the design, or the environment to make sure that we solve our problems and build more success? What exactly should we be doing to optimize our results?

The next time you catch yourself assigning blame (rightly or wrongly) what would it be like if instead you initiated a conversation about how to make things better?

-- Doug Smith

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