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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Do You Blame Someone Else For Your Mistakes?


Are you a blame gamer? Are you the type of person who makes a mistake of some type, and who points your finger at someone else?

You're walking along in your office between rows of seats, carrying a tray of coffee. You trip, and of course the coffee goes everywhere.

"Wasn't me," you cry. "Someone stuck out his/her foot and tripped me."
No they didn't. For whatever reason, you tripped, and dropped the tray of coffee. You didn't mean to do it, therefore it was an accident.

I fear that nowadays, we live in the 'blame culture', where the words 'accident' and an 'Act of God' take a back seat. It seems that the key word today is 'sue'. Like that woman in one of the fast food places that spilled her very hot coffee all over her. Now, there are warnings all over those mugs or cups they give you that the contents is very hot.

Did she ask for cold coffee? No. She wanted hot coffee. She was given hot coffee. No-one attacked her. No-one picked up the cup and deliberately poured it all over her. She managed that on her own. Nevertheless, she sued the establishment and won! A tidy amount, I believe. It was her fault, albeit accidental, but still her fault nonetheless.

Let's take this to the extreme. If you blame all your faults, accidents and mistakes on other people, then whose life are you living? True, it takes a certain amount of character to 'fess up to a fault or mistake, to apologize when something goes wrong because of a mistaken action on your part. So do you blame someone else for your mistakes? Or are you a big enough person to accept responsibility for them?

The trouble is that if you start blaming others, it can become a habit. Automatically, if something goes wrong, you stand well back and if asked whether you had anything to do with it, you say emphatically, "no". On the other hand, do you accept the credit when you've done something well? You'd better believe it!

Another point is gossip. You take a colleague aside, and you start telling him what a frightful person is that man in personnel. Most likely, your colleague has never had anything to do with that person, but he politely hears you out. During your diatribe, he's probably thinking what a terrible person you are! Have you ever had that experience of being pulled aside, while someone bad-mouths someone else? How did you feel?

One good idea is that if something doesn't work for whatever reason, be it your fault, someone else's or pure accident, don't just saunter away and hope someone else finds the answer. You see what you can do. If it was your fault in the first place, then admit to it. If it was someone else's, don't point the finger.

You may find it'll be bitten off!
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