How do you react when things go wrong at work? Some people pass the buck on to their colleagues while others take the heat all by themselves – even if they don't deserve it.
Next time you (or your team) fail at something, resist the temptation to place blame and simply follow these steps instead:
1. Think before you act.
Don't respond immediately or impulsively. This usually only makes matters worse and hurtful statements land up being said which can affect team dynamics. Take the time to consider several possible interpretations of the event and then decide how you will react.
2. Listen and communicate.
Never assume you know what others think. First gather feedback and then explain your own actions and intentions.
3. Search for a lesson.
Face it – mistakes happen. It may be that you're to blame, someone else is, or no one is. Instead of spending energy and wasting time pointing fingers, figure out how and why the failure happened and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
4. Focus on the positive.
Even if it's the smallest thing, praise your team before criticising. This will put things in perspective, level the playing field and allow everyone to put their guard down. Research shows that identifying and building strengths produces better results than focusing on faults.
No matter what goes wrong, your ultimate goal is to raise your team's average performance, not critique one good or bad day.
Last time you landed up in hot water, how did you react? Did you stick your head in the sand and hope it would pass? Or did you resort to blaming someone else?