Responsibility Answers: How can I get others to stop Blaming and Justifying?

“There’s nothing wrong with those people. They’re coping as best they can. You might ask yourself, “What’s in it for them to do that?””

Christopher Avery

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Responsibility Answers

How do I get others to stop Blaming & Justifying?

Amanda asks, “Christopher, how can I get Blaming and Justifying teammates to stop?” So, we’re going to talk about that.

There are several things that I want you to think about if you can identify that people are Blaming and Justifying.

There’s nothing wrong with them. That’s what the Responsibility Process® teaches.

It says that when we have problems that we don’t know how to take ownership of, we go below the line in the process and we get stuck in Blame, Justify, Shame, or Obligation.

There’s nothing wrong with those people. They’re coping as best they can. You might ask yourself, “What’s in it for them to do that?”

There’s a number of reasons that we may be below the line. Our own individual upbringing and training, or programing.

What is it about the system you’re in that’s reinforcing this behavior?

How did this system attract those people? How did it hire them? How did it select them? And how is it reinforcing them?

What leadership messages around Blame and Justify are they getting?

What leadership messages are they getting from you around Justify and Blame?

Remember, it’s 10,000 times easier to see The Responsibility Process in other people than it is to see it in ourselves.

So, how do you get them to stop?

You’ll never get them to stop. You’ll never get yourself to stop. When something goes wrong, you go to Blame. You may not act on it, but your thoughts go there.

You’re never going to stop having thoughts of Blame, and people around you are never going to stop having thoughts and actions of Blaming, Justifying and all the other stages.

Over time, you’ll get better at catching yourself below the line. You’ll cultivate the ability to get to Responsibility faster – and that will help you become a better model for demonstrating Responsibility.

Problems happen all day, every day.

The Responsibility Process gives us a language for talking about problems. Have you introduced the Responsibility Process to your teammates?

Have you asked them for permission to have conversations about how we address things when things go wrong at work?

Watch their response during these conversations.

If their response is one of not very high trust and leeriness, and if they go primarily to self-safety and control, then you might be in an environment that’s just not safe for people to truly take Responsibility.

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