6 Ways to Deal with Blamethrowing
Blamethrowers want others to change.
The opposite of blame is responsibility.
You learn when you take responsibility. Life remains the same when you blame.
6 ways to deal with Blamethrowing:
#1 Change first:
The past persists until you take responsibility for your future.
Yes, others need to change. They screw up. They need to grow. They have weaknesses. They do you wrong. They don’t see the big picture.
Never justify yourself by someone else’s weakness or failure.
Leaders change first.
#2. Eliminate “they”:
Blamethrowers love “they”.
Eliminate “they” from organizational language. “We” is the language of responsibility on teams. “We” have a problem.
David Marquet said, “There is no ‘they’ on the Santa Fe.” (The nuclear submarine he captained.)
#3. No more suggestions:
What happens when you offer suggestions to someone who isn’t ready to change? They explain why it won’t work. It’s a losing battle to explain why it will.
Say, “I hear you saying that idea won’t work. What might work?” Lean back and wait for a response. After they give one, ask, “And what else?”
Stop casting your pearls before swine.
Nothing changes until you find new ways of dealing with persistent dissatisfaction.
#4. Fuel frustration:
When people aren’t willing to change themselves, they aren’t frustrated enough.
Don’t soothe a blamethrower’s frustration. Fuel it.
Don’t encourage tantrums.
#5. Let it hurt:
Dig into pain, don’t soothe it. Ask, “What would you like to do about this?”
You play right into the hands of blamethrowers when you soothe their pain. Use pain as motivation to explore what you want.
“Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.” Joseph Campbell
#6. Shift to forward facing:
Blamethrowers love the past. Leaders press into the future.
Opportunity waits behind the frustration you’re trying to escape.
How might leaders deal with blamethrowers?
How might we deal with inclinations to blame rather than take responsibility?