There is nothing more grating than listening to someone tell you why what happened is not their fault. Call it avoidance, immaturity, abdicating, pointing the finger or simply passing the buck. It’s a popular trap, often frequented by children and teens and it is creeping into the workplace at an alarming pace.
Whether you are working to avoid responsibility or just hoping to blame others, using this problem solving methodology not only stops you from dealing with those things in life you can’t control, it also prevents genuine problem solving from happening. You’ll never come up with a solution for a problem or a challenge if it’s not yours to solve.
There are great excuses:
- No one told me.
- It’s not my job.
- He has it out for me.
- I’m over scheduled.
- I’m new.
- I’ve got a lot on my plate.
- I didn’t get the email.
- The dog ate it.
Taking responsibility doesn’t mean you accept blame. In fact, there is way too much time spent looking for someone to assign blame for things in general. If you are to blame – then it’s your problem to fix – right?!
How about looking for cause?
Asking what role you played in causing the situation to occur allows you to play a role in creating a solution. Problem solvers are of great value in today’s workplace.
Abdicating responsibility? There are enough of those folks to go around – twice!