On the Blame Game

I pride myself on not playing the Blame Game. I tend to say, “I don’t really care who caused the problem, I want to know two things: how to fix it, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

A few weeks ago, however, I really wanted to play it.

Why did I want to play the Blame Game? Because I was MAD. I was angry. And I wanted someone to pay for it. I wanted them to know exactly whose actions caused me this pain, and I wanted them to be penalized for it.

Wait, that’s not how I normally work. That is, in fact, antithetical to how I run my department. But this was outside–I wasn’t running the show in this case.

This experience gave me a bit of insight into what I’ve experienced from bosses, users, attorneys, and even my father: when you’re mad, you want someone to pay. As a leader, I have to be on-guard for this from myself, especially with the people that I lead. As the head of an IT Department, I have to realize where the Blame Game is coming from when people either inside or outside the department.

By understanding, I will find it easier to empathize and guide the conversation away from blame and towards a productive solution. By understanding, I can explain to my staff what’s going on outside the department so that they can understand. By understanding, I can guide situations away from blaming and towards fixing.

I guess getting angry and wanting someone to pay for it taught me something. Go figure.

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