When The Blame Game Flourishes…

Article | Accountability Insights

by | Aug 10, 2011

…desired results are never achieved. For evidence we need only look to the recent U.S. credit downgrade. Fingers have been pointing everywhere—The President, Congress, Standard & Poor’s, the credit-rating industry, the Federal Reserve, the banking industry, debt-addicted Americans, Republicans, Democrats, overspending, under spending, trade policies, regulation, deregulation, and the list goes on. Notwithstanding your political persuasion, the Blame Game is never productive. Why? Because the very act of blaming someone or something else is dis-empowering rather than empowering, de-energizing rather than energizing, problem-focused rather than solution-focused, destructive rather than constructive, less accountable 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. For more information on overcoming the Blame Game and taking the Steps To Accountability, please join the Accountability Community by visiting www.partnersinleadership.com

Below The Line, Above The Line, Steps To Accountability, See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It, and Accountability Community, are all registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership Inc.