Giving the Finger At Work

By April 13, 2017Leadership

You’re right, and you KNOW you’re right. Time to put them in their place.

The best thing about pointing your finger in someone’s face and blaming them for something is that initial rush that you get by putting them in their place. Unfortunately, that feeling doesn’t last; and now you realize that your finger pointing has made it harder to work together on solving an issue.

At the end of the day, how we handle issues can generally be put into two categories; solutions and explanations. Both can be positive agents for change, but we must handle explanations with a bit more care. Let us show you the difference:

“Bob burned the building down because of his reckless behavior playing with fireworks in the house.”

“Great, we can talk about that, but first we need to put the fire out.”

“You’re right, but the house is still burning”

One focuses on identifying the cause of the problem – it seeks to explain the situation. While this is good for introspective reasons, we should use it sparingly. After all, it may not provide a solution to the problem at hand, and misuse can easily bring out the frustration in all parties that something is wrong in the first place.

Blame goes out, defenses go up, heels get dug in, a line gets drawn in the sand, suddenly everything is dysfunctional and no one can climb back down to earth, the problem never gets solved, and the company goes under because now everyone’s mad at everyone.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you get the point (see what I did there?).

Whatever the problem is – treat it as something in need of a solution, not an explanation. Quit blaming other people and focusing on coming up with a solution to the problem that prevents it from happening again. Because the adrenaline of telling someone off fades, and in order to run a marathon you need problem-solving skills, to know the difference between a solution and an explanation and, as always, to keep Brewing Your Skill!