Research has shown that we expect others to play the blame game rather than own up to their mistakes. This means that it's often easier to blame someone else for your mistakes than take responsibility for them.
While blaming others may be easy, we should always take responsibility for our own actions. It should be quite clear why, but below are some of the negative effects the blame game causes.
The Mental Drawbacks
Deep down, we know blaming others is wrong. We can’t escape that part of our brain that will remind us of what we have done. Your consciousness will catch up to you and you will end up regretting blaming someone else for your mistakes.
While getting reprimanded over a mistake doesn’t feel good, it feels worse when you don’t feel good about yourself.
Mistakes happen, and you cannot undo them. However, you can stop yourself from making another mistake in playing the blame game.
Prevents Personal Growth
If you don’t own your mistakes, you are robbing yourself of an opportunity for growth. As humans, one of the biggest parts of our development comes from making mistakes and learning from them.
If you don’t own your mistakes, you cannot learn from them and improve yourself on a personal level.
Damaging Important Connections
If you blame others for your mistakes in a work environment, it is unlikely to go unnoticed. The person being blamed for your mistakes will likely pick up on what you’re doing. You could even garner a reputation for blaming others.
This can be very detrimental to your work relations as it will cause damage to important connections over time. In turn, this could be very damaging for your career.
It’s Not Helpful
Blaming someone else for your mistake does not make the mistake disappear. It’s not going to help anyone – not yourself, and especially not your team or organisation. That is why more and more organisations are striving to build a blameless culture in reporting mistakes.
When a mistake happens, we should always focus on finding a solution to the problem rather than fixating on who caused it. If you own your mistakes and try to fix them, then you can find a solution much faster.
Negatively Impacts The Person You Blamed
Yes, playing the blame game can prevent personal growth and harm your career. However, it can also have negative consequences for the person you blamed for the mistake.
It can cause, or contribute to, low self-esteem, anxiety and/or depression. It can also result in insecurity and feelings of unworthiness. All of this together adds up quickly on the organisational level and starts to have a toll on the organisational culture.
Failures are a part of life. However, blaming others for your mistakes is harmful to your organisation, co-workers, the person or people you blamed and, most importantly, you.
Most, if not all, organisations do not expect you never to fail. What they expect is that when you do fail you take responsibility for it and learn from it.
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