THE BLAME GAME – PART 2

Posted on July 7, 2021 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

In every work environment there comes a time when mistakes are made. These blunders range from silly mistakes in the mails to wrong information being sent out to a client, or worse, the adoption of a wrong business strategy and the failure to change course. Regardless of the magnitude of the error, every employee can end up rattled and flustered. In such a state, our mind goes into over-drive trying to come up with the most logical explanation. Thus begins the unhealthy blame game. Unhealthy practices at work can affect our productivity. It is important to understand why this happens so you can prevent the blame game from affecting your productivity at work.

Part of human nature is to look for plausible external causes for our predicaments. In order to preserve their self-esteem,  individuals tend to attribute their failure to external factors more than to internal factors. Also, they tend to attribute success to internal factors.

The practice of playing the blame game is also evident in the political arena. In order to justify their failings, governments often place the blame on other organizations. Whereas political parties and organizations pinpoint all major mishaps on the government in order to get a better rating in the public eye. They both continue pointing fingers at the other party.

So, why do people get caught up in this blame game phenomenon? Many do so in order to preserve their self-image, they look for the nearest scapegoat to pile responsibility on, washing themselves clean of any responsibility. It may even be considered as one of human nature’s survival modes. We employ this as a coping strategy in which our defensive mechanism actively works to reduce feelings of guilt, shame or failure which can be detrimental to our mental well-being. So, it is not that uncommon to see people at work engage in the blame game as a defensive and fearful stance to preserve their job security.

You can easily avoid the disaster of playing the blame game by adopting the following four strategies:-

Lead by Example.

People sometimes play the blame game because they observe it at work. Bad examples are just as easy to follow as good examples. So, it is imperative that good examples be set. People who take ownership of their mistakes are in fact psychologically secure individuals. It is the duty of management to ensure that their employees feel an appropriate degree of psychological security in their positions to be able to accept their mistakes and move forward. When you take responsibility for your own actions and own up to your mistakes, you will be able to trample the blame game before it tramples you.

Enhance The Team’s Self-Esteem.

Considering the findings that people begin the blame game as a natural part of preserving their self-image, the management should ensure that their teams have a positive and healthy self-image and have the capacity to accept their errors without causing detrimental harm to their self-esteem.

Adopt a Solution-Oriented Culture.

Stop the blame game by changing your attention by focusing on solutions, rather than on the problems. Individuals will move toward positive results through actions that fix the problem without focusing on it. So, do not try to figure out who made the mistake or berate one another for causing the problem. Work together to find plausible solutions that will help you reach your goals. So, instead of crying over spilt milk, be quick about grabbing a cloth to wipe up the mess.

Promote Team Unity.

Group cohesiveness is strongly related to individual performance in an organization. If employees strongly feel that they are part of a group, then they will be more reluctant to point fingers in the blame game. They will own their part in the mistake. Effective managers not only encourage team unity, but also assign goals and tasks that make team members interdependent and reliant on each other. Rather than developing unhealthy competition amongst each other, they focus on putting their best effort towards the final product. An important point to note, however, is that individual efforts should also be highlighted through group efforts to maintain employee motivation.

Read PART 1 here.

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.Natural memory enhancer