Monday, March 21, 2011

The Blame Game

Is your sales career fraught with assigning blame?  Do you try to figure out who was responsible for the challenges getting in the way of your success?  Does your manager focus on assigning blame rather than fixing the problem and aligning you for achievement?  Do you?

Here's the deal:  There's two ways to deal with a problem:  1)  Figure out the problem, learn from the mistake, move on;  2)  Dwell on the problem, keep digging the hole that you've found yourself in, assign blame.  Which will it be for you?  One leads to greatness, the other leads to failure.

Let's say you've identified a problem.  I don't care what the problem is, because it doesn't really matter (does it?).  There are some salespeople, managers, executives that want to dwell on the problem.  They want to examine the problem from a dozen angles.  They want to assign blame.  Maybe they're having a bad day (maybe it's you that's having the bad day).  Certainly, people want to learn from their mistakes, but there's a big difference between understanding and learning from a problem, and having that problem become a milestone in your life.  Here's the best way in dealing with any problem (work or personal):

  1. Discover the issue.  Examine the problem enough that you can define what happened, the people and process involved.  Ask the right questions, but realize that pouting or getting angry about an issue is an obstacle that is completely unnecessary.
  2. Figure out how to not be here again.  It's important that the "take-away" represents a way in which you can try to create a situation which encourages success.  Some problems are going to repeat themselves a couple of times for you to learn the lesson.  THAT'S OK.  When you've got the way to not make the same mistake again...move on.
  3. Put the processes and people in place to have a better situation happen for everyone.  Focus on the positive.  Applaud lessons learned.  
Today will be a better day than the rest.  Conflict resolution doesn't have to deal with blame, shooting arrows, or holding a grudge.  How about forgiveness, positivity and a great attitude.  You'll get through it, and so will your peers, bosses and family.

Take it easy....Life is too short (we only have about 600,000 hours to live).  Make the most.

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