Whether you are the head of an organisation, a leader, a manager or an employee, you have no doubt experienced the ‘Review Period’ – the sales / performance / budget / how-can-we-improve-and-do-better review. But during these assessment sessions, how honest are you really being?
For instance, do you take time to identify what didn’t work, what wasn’t achieved and why? Do you honestly take ownership of the misses? Do you ever take it one step further to determine your learnings and what you can do differently next time?
Or … are you in fact suffering from a case of Blame-itis?
“It’s not my fault…”
The blame game is rife. The myriad excuses for why we didn’t achieve and others did can be heard loud and clear right across workplaces and in our personal lives. It’s incredible how many people these days suffer from Blame-itis – the need to blame others and work through an endless excuse list they hope will keep them off the hook. We’ve all heard them:
“It wasn’t me – it was him / her…”
“I tried but they wouldn’t let me…”
“It’s too hard to do that…”
“I didn’t make it because [insert relevant excuse] got in the way…”
“Sorry, I missed that email, it must have got lost in the Internet ether…”
In the workplace, Blame-itis usually manifests itself as a list of excuses for why others achieved and you didn’t. Again, we’ve all heard them (and maybe even said them ourselves):
“Well, they’ve got the contacts / the client base / the thousands of followers / the budgets / the team / the experience / the resources and they don’t have [insert whatever you have that you feel is getting in the way].”
Blame-itis is, quite simply, not accepting responsibility for any of your actions or accountability for your own behaviours.
It’s about making excuses and not accepting that maybe, just maybe, you did play a critical part in things not quite going to plan. That actually, it isn’t anyone else’s fault that you didn’t achieve your goals over the last 12 months – it’s yours.
So how do you cure a case of Blame-itis?
1. Take Ownership
Of course we all have different baggage, backgrounds, financial situations, and stuff going on. But if you want it enough, if you are hungry enough and if you take control of owning your role in writing your story, creating your own dreams, then action does happen.
Own your successes and your failures. Own your dreams, your goals and your behaviour. Own the actions you take. Own the tribe you choose to work with, the projects you choose to navigate and deliver, the essential contacts that will absolutely transform you and accelerate your journey to success. Own the highs and the lows, the results and the failures. Own the opportunity to continuously learn and grow because only by doing this will you head down the road labelled ‘Personal Success’.
2. Take Responsibility For Your Actions
Whether things go to plan or not, hold yourself 100 per cent accountable for the outcome, whatever it may be. It’s not about making excuses or quitting the game. It’s simply about considering that perhaps you may somehow have contributed to the end result.
Hold yourself accountable, assess what you could do differently next time and take note of what you have learnt because this will absolutely create the right next appropriate action towards achieving your ultimate goals.
3. Find the Lesson
Don’t be afraid of failure or admitting your mistakes. When we give ourselves permission to fail, incredible lessons are learnt. Failure is a chance to regroup, to learn and grow.
Unless you’re really willing to learn the lesson, even if it feels uncomfortable at times, you can never move forward. Be honest with yourself – the actions you took and the choices you made.
Take a moment to look at things from another’s perspective. The lesson is always there if you are open to seeing it and open to growth.
4. Let Go and Move On
Dwelling on the small stuff can be debilitating. We end up in a never-ending cycle of ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’. Unless we let go of the blame game and finger pointing, accept what happened and embrace the learnings from the situation, we are unable to move forward. The choice is yours – sit in a quagmire of excuses and the resulting sludge of status quo or accept that things didn’t quite go to plan, re-group, re-plan and move on.
The New Year is upon us. It’s a new start. It’s a new game. Let’s kick Blame-itis well and truly in the butt. Out with ineffectiveness, inaction and the status quo; in with ownership, accountability and self-awareness.