for a strong, fast pick-me-up
“Fix the problem – not the blame”
Are you guilty of this? I know I am.
If something is someone else’s fault – you think you are in the “clear” – it’s not your fault – it’s not your problem to solve. Someone else is to blame!
You take no action – the problem doesn’t get solved OR there is a long delay in getting action.
My wife (a former Radio News Director) taught me a valuable lesson in my private life – and it’s something I use in my business life too.
I’m in the city for an early-morning, important business meeting. As I collect my computer from the back seat of the car, I notice my son’s school shoes are still in the back of the car. Uh-oh!
Then I rationalise – it’s HIS fault – not mine. Not my problem. I am absolved of blame!
In this case – and in many cases – my wife’s response is: “Take responsibility!”
And she’s right. Even if technically it’s not my fault, I can take responsibility and think:
What CAN I do to stop this happening in the future.
So now, I have a ritual – every evening I do a quick check of the car to see if my son has left anything behind.
I also encourage him to bring in his shoes and school bag etc – but the quick check is something I can control. Something I have the ability to respond to. I take responsibility.
O.K. – nice fuzzy story. How can we apply it to serious business?
We can all apply the same principle to our work lives.
Now, when my normal reaction would have been: It’s their fault. They haven’t got back to me OR they are late in getting me the materials
What can I do to make this happen?
What ability do I have to respond to this situation to help make it happen?
Now there will be times when YOU can’t do anything – but I encourage you to change your thinking so your first response is:
how can you take responsibility.
I often think of a great line from an old 90’s Sean Connery movie (Rising Sun) where he advises:
Fix the problem – not the blame!
Of course, he says it in a more colourful (lots of F-bombs) way!
So I encourage you – to be more productive in getting things done faster and more efficiently in your business life – think how you can:
1. take responsibility – even if it’s not your fault
2. fix the problem – not the blame
3. help create a business culture where people are encouraged to take responsibility and fix the problem – not the blame!
Here’s a link to other practical productivity tips:
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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication etc. I like to help people COPE.