Friday, February 13, 2009

stop the blaming

Want to know why it takes so long to solve problems? Its because people blame others for starting the problem. Think about it...once a problem is encountered, the person whom it is affecting should attempt to solve it right away. If that person needs help, then they should go to whomever they think can best help solve the problem, and the two of them should dialogue about solutions toward fixing the problem. They should then decide on a solution and move forward with it, informing everyone who needs to know how the problem has been solved. A couple of emails...a few face to face chats...a little bit of research...sometimes having to give something up to get something else...but the problem is solved and people move ahead.

What I keep seeing happening is that when someone encounters a problem, they immediately want to blame someone or something else as the cause of that problem occuring. They do not want to take the responsibility of fixing it - or of sitting down with another person and listening to all sides of the issue. Most problems/issues are very minor - but they take up so much energy because people begin to lose focus on the problem and instead focus on blaming others. What can we do?

Here are a few thoughts from my lifetime of fixing problems:
1. Consider problem solving a part of your job. If people did not make mistakes, most of us would not have jobs to begin with.
2. Address problems as fixable - there is always a solution out there...it justs may take some time to get at it.
3. Realize that problems occur because of mistakes - and mistakes can be corrected. Correct the mistake and move on.
4. Don't blame anyone for causing the problem (remember, people make mistakes). See the problem as a problem, NOT as something that someone else did to mess things up. A problem is not a person - it is an inanimate thing that you can have control over.
5. As you go about fixing the problem, don't let the mistakes of others get you upset. Forgive others as you fix the problem.
6. Once the problem is fixed, do not dwell on the past - move forward and wait for the next problem to come your way.

2 comments:

sherrah said...

I like the blog! And this post is great. It's so hard to not want to blame other people, but it's also so unproductive. Thanks for sharing these practical thoughts! And God's blessings to you... :)

Taylor said...

This post makes me wonder why it is that we so desperately want to blame others when things go wrong. Here are a few thoughts:
1. If you don't feel like you have the capacity to fix something, it's easier to blame. Big problems, like the economy feel insurmountable, but blame is easy.
2. You may, indeed be the cause of the problem and unwilling to acknowledge your own contribution. It takes courage to stand up and say, "I screwed up." Doing so also means that you have to take responsibility for finding the solution. (oops, see item #1!)

What if "accepting responsibility" became a badge of courage? What if we were confident that, even if we can't fix the problem, we are willing to roll up our sleeves, do our best and learn from our mistakes? What if we valued mistakes because of what they can teach us? What if we just cut each other a little slack?