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May 6, 2013

The Blame Game – I No Longer Play

finger pointing

No doubt you’ve heard the saying that when you point the finger at someone else, there are three others pointing back at you. May I tell you how much I hated that adage?

I far preferred to place the blame on anyone but moi. Me, wrong? Can’t be!

I was fueled by self-righteousness and perfectionism. It’s a great smokescreen for insecurity and feeling ‘less than.’ If I could place the blame squarely on anyone else, I could remain on my perch as the hero or the victim, but never the architect of misjudgment or wrongdoing.

Last Friday I was unable to log onto the dashboard I use for administering my monthly call to my Soul Proprietor Community. I entered the usual URL for the conference line, but kept getting an error message. I remembered that my VA had requested my new credit card number for the May billing cycle. But it didn’t even occur to me to stir up anger at her, because even if she hadn’t gotten to that task yet, it wouldn’t have remedied the situation at hand in that moment.

I couldn’t start the recording as I normally would have, so thought quickly and explained to the group that I would offer the session a second time and record it then. I proceeded to conduct the rest of the call without benefit of the muting option, but it went smoothly nonetheless.

Two very cool things happened. One–the recorder went on automatically unbeknownst to me so the call did get recorded (perfectly, btw), and I did not need to duplicate the effort. The second was this message from a participant:

I learned a wonderful lesson today on our conference call. There were some technical mishaps with recording and sound feedback. If I had been in Jane ‘s shoes I would have gone nuts. However, it was so refreshing and eye opening to see how Jane handled the situation. As a participant I found that her attitude did not cause stress to me (the client/guest) and in fact made me find humor and humanness.

I’m about to get on the phone with my assistant,(who had paid the monthly fee for me) and navigate how to NOT have this happen in the future. I’m very grateful that I didn’t blame her for something she didn’t do to relieve my anxiety in the moment. Relationship and sanity saved.

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  1. Barbara Garelick

    How true this is–in my industry (print) there is always somebody to blame, from the the client forgetting to proofread, but signing off on the approval anyway, to the designer setting up the files incorrectly, a pressman not paying attention to detail, the binder trimming the job to the wrong size, ya da ya da ya da… sometimes it’s good to know the true cause of the problem so you can learn from it, and hopefully avoid it from recurring but blaming people is the last thing you’d want to do.

    My roll, as liaison between suppliers and clients, is to get the job done correctly! on target, on budget, on time and to waste time blaming people serves absolutely no purpose, leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths and creates unnecessary hostility. Let’s work as a team and help one another achieve the results they are looking for and move on…let’s face it mistakes happen, but how you handle them shows the true professionalism.

  2. janepollak

    No wonder you’ve been so successful in this industry! Thanks for your extreme clarity.


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