We live in a culture of blame.
This seems to be the rule and no longer the exception.
When did we become so afraid of accepting responsibility? I know for me personally, I used to hate making mistakes. And worse than that, I was getting in trouble for my mistakes. I’m not sure why…. because the consequences were never as bad as I imagined in my head. Nobody has ever expected perfection or loved me less because I make mistakes.
I have learned through my life and my work that breakdowns are gifts.
We cannot become better without trials and tribulations. Yet, I still pause and ponder blame. It’s a conversation I often have with clients. It’s not that there isn’t someone or something to blame. Things happen that cause problems all day long. It’s learning to be aware when we are trying to solve a problem that defines the result we get. We can either focus on blaming others or focus on the solution.
Which do you think gives us the better outcome?
In the book, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin, the authors shared a story about Navy Seal training. Throughout the final week there were several inflatable boat races between the different crews. Each race required a specific set of instructions given to the boat crew leader to then communicate to the crew and execute. The winner of each race received a few extra minutes of rest, so it was a precious and desired outcome.
There was one team that consistently lost and another team that consistently won.
The team that lost had a leader that was focused on the poor conditions, the mistakes of each individual, exhaustion, and fatigue. Those were all legitimate causes, but the conditions for the crew that won were the same.
So, why was there a difference in the outcomes?
Leadership! The crew that consistently won had a leader that took ownership of the mistakes his crew made. He would quickly recalibrate and encourage his team to make the corrections. His focus was on the solution and solving the problem. Along the way, the crew stopped focusing on their exhaustion and mistakes and started focusing on how they would solve the next problem as a team. This gave them more energy and drive to succeed, which earned them a well-deserved rest at the end of the races.
We are all here to learn.
It can be painful and uncomfortable. Getting stuck in blame prolongs our suffering. Looking for a solution is our way out of that suffering!
“Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” –Erica Jong
Our work is to help our clients find solutions!
Fundamental of the Week #18: PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM SOLVING Focus on finding a solution, not who is at fault. Apply your creativity, spirit and enthusiasm to the development of solutions. Identify lessons learned and use those lessons to improve processes, so we learn from every experience.