Today, I have a leadership tip for you.  You can use this in your business, but you can also use it in your personal life or really anywhere you are in a relationship with someone else or other people.

That tip is to scrub two words from your vocabulary: blame and fault.  Blame and fault are entirely useless unless we are trying to incite an ego reaction from someone else.

Let’s say something happens and you’ve got a client who isn’t happy or someone has lost money, a calculation has been wrong, a deadline hasn’t been met, any number of things that happen that are not the desired outcome.   Fine.  That is the reality.

Is there responsibility in there?  Sure.  Somebody may have contributed or not contributed to what happened and may have to deal with the consequences or make adjustments to start moving in a direction you want to move in.  That’s fine.  That’s what happens.

If you crash your car into somebody else and it was your action that led to that, then that is your responsibility and you’re likely going to have to deal with the consequences of it.

But what happens when we start talking fault and blame?  What happens is we all go into an ego response.  For the person who is blaming and faulting, that means we are in the “right”.  Egos love that, right?  And for the person who is being blamed or being faulted, then that means we are in the “wrong” and egos don’t like that.

And what do people do in that situation?  Well, I will tell you that my gut reaction when I am faulted or blamed is to defend myself.  So before I ever get to the action of making adjustments or fixing whatever it is I’ve done “wrong”, I’m going to first have to go through this ego experience of defending myself.

And if you think about this from a leadership perspective, you’re delaying people getting on board to make the fixes, make the changes and handle the reality that you’re in which is that this isn’t the outcome that you want.

First, you are going to have to go through this experience of people perhaps having to defend themselves but definitely being ego-triggered.

But what kind of leader are you if you don’t even use those words?  If you only start talking about responsibility?  Start talking about making adjustments.  Start talking about how we’re going to handle this situation.  Then, there is no separation between us.  We’re all on board working together.  No one is faulting.  Nobody is blaming.  And now you’ve got a cohesive working unit that can move forward.

So I would encourage you to reconsider using those words, especially in a leadership position.  But you can see how even if you stop using these words in your relationships and it’s no longer about my fault, your fault, or who is to blame, then we can all stay on the same page.  We can deal with the reality that we have and even the responsibility we may have in the situation.  We can move on to fixing and changing and making adjustments.

That’s today’s leadership tip.  Enjoy that.  Give it a go.  It might be a little bit harder than you think right now (those words get tossed around without much thought).  Good luck with that.

Until next time!