When the focus is on who is responsible, desired results will not be achieved.
For evidence, we need only look to our society today. When something in our country goes wrong, fingers get pointed in every direction possible — The President, Congress, Republicans, Democrats, overspending, underspending, policies, regulation, deregulation, social media, parents, schools, and the list goes on.
The “Blame Game” is never productive. Why? Because the very act of blaming someone or something else is disempowering rather than empowering, de-energizing rather than energizing, problem-focused rather than solution-focused, destructive rather than constructive, less ownership rather than more accountable.
Every aspect of the Blame Game leads to what we call Below The Line attitudes and behaviors that prevent people, organizations, and nations from achieving their desired results.
Whenever you get stuck Below The Line in the Blame Game or victim cycle, you can’t get unstuck until you first acknowledge that you’re functioning Below The Line and paying a high price for it—the price, of course, is failing to achieve the desired results. Only through recognition and acknowledgment can you take the first step Above The Line: “See It,” which means to see reality.
You can improve your ability to “See It” by quickly recognizing some of the telltale signs of Below The Line attitudes and behaviors:
- You perceive that you have little or no control over your present circumstances;
- Your discussions of problems focus more on what you cannot do than on what you can do;
- You find yourself being sought out by others who are blaming the same people and things you are blaming;
- You resist asking probing questions about your own accountability and how you could take greater accountability for achieving results;
- You avoid people, meetings, and/or situations that require you to report on your responsibilities and progress toward results;
- You frequently waste time and energy “colleague bashing;” and
- You spend valuable time crafting compelling stories about why you were not at fault for not achieving results.
If you detect any of these signs in yourself or the people around you, act immediately to help acknowledge these as serious impediments to accountability and results.
The only antidote for the Blame Game is to move Above The Line by taking the Steps To Accountability: See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It.