How do you stop the blame game at work?

There can be times when mistakes are made in any workplace. These mishaps can range from basic typos in emails to sending the wrong information to a client, or worse, sending confidential information to the wrong client. Even the finest staff can become startled and flustered, regardless of the enormity of the blunder.

Our minds go into overdrive attempting to come up with the most logical answer in such a situation. As a result, the unhealthy blame game begins. Workplace practices that are harmful to our health can have a negative impact on our productivity. It’s critical to understand why this occurs so you can avoid the blame game impacting your work productivity.

When discussions about mistakes devolve into blaming sessions, they become ineffective. Rather than listening, everyone becomes defensive and less forthcoming with information that could put them in even more danger. When someone starts striving to prove someone else did something wrong and the focus changes to accusations, you know the talk has gotten off track. Companies that place a premium on blame make their employees fearful of taking chances and trying new approaches. Because people hide behind business rules and regulations, this can lead to missed possibilities for progress.

Nobody enjoys being blamed or receiving criticism, especially when it is unclear who is to blame. To appear blameless, we can easily blame any unfavorable outcome or occurrence on someone or something else. It’s also tough to forecast certain outcomes. Unpredictable events might be difficult to comprehend or frightening. As a result, it’s much easier to shift the blame.

Consider the various reasons why people do it. By ignoring our own imperfections, it helps us maintain our self-esteem. When we are experiencing unpleasant feelings, it is simpler to focus on others rather than ourselves. We don’t always understand why people act the way they do or why we act the way we do. As a result, we become judgmental.

Biases are created through blaming others. To defend our viewpoint, we accuse others. Biases get in the way, distorting your impression of what happened. Taking sides makes you blind. Blaming is a form of avoidance. It’s far easier to believe that the other person is wrong or wicked than it is to examine our own selves. Rather than sharing blame, you single out one person. And absolve yourself of any responsibility. You become blind when you accuse others.

It’s easier to point the finger at someone else than to accept responsibility for our part in a poor circumstance. Even when we know we are at fault, it is easier to lie and blame someone else. We anticipate things to go our way. We feel betrayed when they don’t. We feel safer when we place blame on someone else.

Things are bound to go wrong every now and again. There will be mistakes made, and difficulties will occur. And, in a workplace where we frequently lead a team, it’s critical to assist team members in avoiding finger pointing. The act of blaming someone for a problem rather than attempting to remedy or solve it is known as finger-pointing. Finger-pointers, by definition, do not attempt to rectify or address the problem; instead, they blame others.

So, how do you keep your team from playing the blame game? Set ground rules for healthy, productive team interactions as soon as you see an issue. Explain that you’re not seeking for someone to blame and that pointing fingers is not permitted. Focus on positive communication rather than accusatory or negative rhetoric. Encourage the team to concentrate on discovering the source of the problem.

Shift the focus back to the employee when he or she tries to blame a coworker or another department. “That may be true,” you say, “but what role did you play in this situation?” “What did you have control over?” You’re steering and redirecting the topic away from others and back to the employee. This allows you to guide them toward awareness, which is an important aspect of emotional intelligence. “What one thing could you have done differently in this situation?” you might ask.

Don’t be concerned if you make a mistake. We’ve got you covered. We’ll investigate what happened and do everything possible to assist you. We want you to admit when you don’t know something. Nobody here knows everything. You’re displaying a commitment to lifelong learning by asking questions, which is a trait of a successful nurse and an expected here. ” Reassure your employees that making mistakes is acceptable. The expectation is that they accept it and take steps to improve as a professional.

Instead of assigning blame for the problem’s occurrence, take a proactive strategy to solving it. Discuss what can be learned from the situation. Make sure you talk about how the team can avoid the situation happening again.

What if you get blamed? Although it’s normal to become defensive, especially if your supervisor is making an aggressive or loud verbal attack, try to maintain your composure. Defensiveness is the worst reaction you can have. Instead, employ a different strategy to extend his understanding of what happened.

Start by saying, “Here’s what I could have done better,” when it’s your moment to talk. Then give a synopsis of what happened and how you might have handled the situation better. Instead of disagreeing with your accuser, you might give a more balanced account of what transpired this way. It’s an opportunity to emphasize your role in the incident, whether direct or indirect, and to gently correct any misinformation that may have reached your supervisor.

It is your duty as the leader to ensure that your team does not play the blame game. The easiest way to avoid falling into that trap is to avoid it yourself. The second step is to establish clear ground rules for problem solving that focus on resolving the issue rather than assigning blame. It is your responsibility to foster a culture of accountability rather than blame. It begins with you sharing credit when things go well and accepting blame when things go wrong.

Check out my related post: Why you should stop playing the blame game?


Interesting reads:

https://hbr.org/2010/05/how-to-stop-the-blame-game

https://careertrend.com/assertive-underhanded-coworker-8881.html

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_56.htm

https://vidyasury.com/2020/06/stop-playing-the-blame-game.html

https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2015/11/16/6-important-ways-to-avoid-playing-the-blame-game/

https://kimmel.com/employers/ending-the-blame-game-at-work.html

https://healthyworkforceinstitute.com/how-to-win-at-the-employee-blame-game/

https://www.fearlessculture.design/blog-posts/how-to-stop-playing-the-blame-game

https://www.verywellmind.com/blame-game-definition-signs-impact-and-prevention-5215208

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