When a group or even pair of people encounters a problem, the first instinct is to find out who is to blame, who made the mistake, or who caused the problem. Somebody or something is to blame and everyone feels less uncomfortable � except the person blamed.
But what does blame accomplish?
The empowered group abolishes blame as an activity. When a problem arises, the people involved talk about how to solve it, not who to blame. The individuals involved examine their part in the situation to determine if they contributed in any way. The group asks what systems broke down, what circumstances existed that contributed, did lack of knowledge or training play a part? Everyone understands that there are usually several causes.
The group looks for ways to do things better, not ways to point the finger. They generate ideas about possible solutions in response to all of the causes. Groups that are intimidated by a fearful environment will emphasize one solution, usually the fastest solution, rather than a solution with 4 or 5 components. An empowered team creates a learning atmosphere where everyone looks for ways to correct mistakes, and not feel ashamed or singled out.
Many business crises arise because the organization was not willing to look at early signs of difficulty. The empowered team must search for problems continually, not wait to be hit with them. The organization that empowers people must trust individuals with hunches, must seek out problem areas aggressively, and must be open-minded.
It is difficult for an individual to stop trying to protect him or herself, becoming defensive, and avoiding acknowledgement of difficulties. Nobody likes to hear bad news or be confronted with potential problems. Yet, that is exactly what is required to survive in today’s environment. We need to develop the ability to face problems, mistakes, and weaknesses with courage. We need to be able to admit a mistake so we can determine the causes and find ways to resolve those causes. We need a climate that celebrates the recognition of a problem or mistake as an opportunity.
As a supervisor or manager, how do you influence people’s mindsets toward problem solving and away from blaming? How can you help to change this cultural characteristic? Challenge yourself to stretch behaviorally.
Do you seek all the causes of a problem? Do you acknowledge factors such as fatigue or boredom as contributory causes? Are you open-minded to solutions that help or just want the employee to do better next time? Are you mindful of mistakes or problems you have caused? Have you considered to which part of problem you contributed? Have you concluded the employee’s intent in this situation? Do you push to reach the first and fastest solution? Are you falling back onto usual responses or solutions? Can you let go of your ideas about what happened and how to best resolve it?
With each of your responses, ask yourself, "Is this a usual response for me?" If yes, change it. Force yourself to think of 3 or 4 possible solutions. Go past the first one. Find an assumption you have made related to this topic and change it. Assume your solution is wrong and think of a different one. Separate your preferences from your observations.
Every Elementary School in Lower Manhattan Is Getting a Crossing Guard
Both public and private schools will get guards after a push by parents, officials and principals.
School Crossing Guards – LOCAL 372 – NYC Board of Education Employees | ...
This finding suggests that the kidney, together with the liver, may be designed to keep organic waste levels in the extracellular fluid suff
23 Body Language Tricks That Make You Instantly Likeable
Want to be likable? Master your body language. You can use these tricks immediately!
U.S. Department of Labor — Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) —...
The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) in the U.S. Department of Labor is the Federal agency responsible for administering and enfo
PEP, September 2011: Etta Dixon: solar-powered retiree
Etta Dixon has been retired for more than 20 years and is passionate about protecting the environment.
Cisco patches serious flaws in router and conferencing server software |...
The patches fix flaws in Cisco IOS, IOS XR, ASR 5000, WebEx Meetings Server and Cisco Meeting Server
Melania Trump’s Speech Bears Striking Similarities to Michelle Obama’s i...
Ms. Trump’s remarks at the convention came under scrutiny over similarities to those delivered by Mrs. Obama at the Democratic convention in
12 Countries With The Worst Police | Wandering Pioneer
Japan. Japanese-Police-pciture-courtesy-cdn.c.photoshelter.com_. “As an American who has traveled all across East Asia, I can say that the d
Green Billionaire Joins Infamous Labor Union In Fight To Defeat Trump
Mega-wealthy environmentalist Tom Steyer and a services union with deep pockets announced a $10 million joint effort on Friday to derail Don
Report: US, Chinese labor groups met ahead of Wal-Mart China strikes
The two groups say they’ll continue their new relationship in an effort to boost their clout in discussions with Wal-Mart.
Trump will not stand with union workers | Opinion |
Working Pennsylvanians are hurting. Families haven’t fully recovered from the recession, and a majority of people are living paycheck to pay
Republican delegates re-file three bills that Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed
Republicans in the state legislature have re-filed three bills that Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed this year, dealing with health care, school
T.I.P.S. For Avoiding Unfair Labor Practice Charges under the NLRA | Lex...
There are four problematic behaviors, which employers should avoid to stay in compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). These
As labor board scrutinizes WeWork on wages, a 'corporate theft' case eme...
As the NLRB examines at least three complaints against WeWork over unpaid wages to former staff, the New York-based company's CEO Adam Neuma
Cleveland unions blast GOP on eve of their convention » peoplesworld
CLEVELAND - "The GOP platform does not represent the interests of working people," Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore