Unless you don’t have access to any streaming device or choose not to, (no judgment) there’s a chance you’ve heard Taylor Swift’s new anthem, Anti-Hero. I have a 14-year-old. I’ve heard it A LOT. And it got me thinking.
Not sure about you, but when I first heard her lyrics, “Hi, it’s me. I’m the problem, it’s me”, my initial reaction was WOW – someone is actually admitting that they are the “problem?’’ She’s actually taking accountability and on the radio no less? Well, this is exciting!
You’ve been with me long enough to know that I really don’t like when people play “the blame game.” It gets old, fast. But the blame game in the workplace happens all the time.
Deadline missed? “Wasn’t me!” Didn’t meet your sales quota? “The team dropped the ball.”
Too often we don’t want to admit that we made a mistake for fear of being judged, seen as weak, or not the best person for the job:
“When people face repercussions or unintended consequences after making a mistake, their fear may cause them to defend themselves by shifting the blame away from themselves and onto a scapegoat.” Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD.
So, why are we so quick to point fingers and how can we stop the cycle?
- The truth hurts. Some qualities we dislike in others are often the ones see we don’t like in ourselves. (Ouch)
- It’s easier to blame others. But what about you? What opportunities are you missing by not acknowledging your role in this game? Instead of shifting the blame, focus your energy on solving the problem, and preventing future ones. Can you be objective enough and admit, like Taylor, that you are the problem?
- Triggers. Was it a word that caused you to overreact? Someone’s tone? Identifying the root cause of that feeling can eliminate frustration and uncover misplaced emotions.
- They said what? A big mistake we ALL make is assuming everyone thinks and responds the same way we do. Ain’t gonna happen, and it’s okay! Don’t assume your approach is right; be open to new ideas and opinions.
You can’t just “shake it off” (couldn’t help it) and hope conflict goes away on its own. (HINT: It won’t) The more you understand how YOU navigate conflict, the easier it is to understand and adapt your behavior. It’s pretty simple – knowing we can accept responsibility when things go wrong means we can also receive credit when things go well.
That’s a game well played.
If you want to learn more about how I can help you navigate conflict and communication issues within your team, schedule a call today!