In a recent course that I have attended, the trainer asked us to name a situation when we think that we are 100% blameless.
And that it was all the other person’s fault.2 of my friends gave different examples, when bad things happened at work which they thought were totally out of their control.
I could not agree more with them coz I know the situations and totally agree with my poor friends who were victims of unfortunate circumstances. Then the trainer talked about the blame cycle and that we end up not achieveing anything if we were to just blame others. She mentioned that most of the time, there would be a possibility that we could have done something, or there would be something that we could do to minimize the damage.
Here’s what she shared about the Blame Cycle:
An error occurred
People starts to point finger at one another
Fear arises- those who felt they were responsible, even in a little way, does not want to be found out.
Information flow occurs- wrong info being circulated around (you always get this in the gossip columns who may be reporting distorted stuff)
With limited knowledge, error starts occuring
the entire nasty cycle starts all over again.
She gave an example: her daughter was driving in the Mega mall carpark with some friends. It was a straight road. Out of no where, a car came out and banged her daughter’s car at the side. At first, her daughter mentioned it was not hear fault coz she did not see the car coming. Also, at that particular spot, there was an obstruction, so she could not have seen the car even though she had looked.Even the driver came out from the car and apologise to her, at the same time admitting voluntarily that it was his fault that he banged her car. For these cases, when you talk to insurance companies or the police, they will definitely mentioned that it is the driver’s fault.
The trainer asked her daughter much later: “Do you think you were 100% blameless in this accident?”. Her daughter thought about it and said, “well mom, since you mentioned it, thinking back, there were some precaution that I could have taken. I could have concentrate more on driving or hon when I reach a spot where my vision is obstructed”. So later, one of my friends admitted that there was something she could have done to prevent the problem from happening.
In any place, such as workplace or family, we should never adopt the blame mentality. This is because we will create a culture where people will try to cover up. It is more effective than to take ownership and accountability and work to solve the problem.
I had the chance to adopt what I had learned in the course coz an unfortunate sitation arose in my company. It felt good for learning to react to a problem positively rather than negatively. Most of the time, we are just eager to point the finger at anyone else except ourselves. But doing so causes lots of hostility. But a simple apology, and taken immediate remedy action, we foster a better and warmer working environment.