Eliminate blame culture

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1. Blame culture damages everyone

Working in a blame culture can make it seem impossible not to think about protecting your own back, but this damages you, your colleagues and your organisation, because everyone is in a negative frame of mind.

2. What is your role in the blame cycle?

Blame culture perpetuates itself through fear. To eliminate blame, everyone needs to master their own fear, so that they can alter their behaviour. How can you alter yours to break the blame cycle?

3. Cut out politics

It’s commonplace to copy emails and memos to many people, so that the sender can prove what they said. This suggests that no one is trusted. To stop this paranoia, send communications only to relevant recipients.

4. Your word is your bond

Do you mean what you say? If so, tell people outright. It’s rude for someone not to believe you, unless you give them good reason, and it’s a bad measure of an organisation’s culture. Let people know that you stand by your word and encourage others to do the same.

5. Blame is weakness, apology is strength

In this world of unrealistic deadlines and excessive pressure, few of us can deliver on time every time. If there is a delay, tell people. If something goes wrong, it is better that you offer an explanation voluntarily. If you make a mistake, own up.

6. Honesty takes courage, but earns respect

It takes courage to admit errors or mistakes, but we all make them. Some bosses kid themselves that the impossible is achievable – it is not. But what we can achieve is probably more than they will ever need.

7. Learn from mistakes

An organisation more concerned with pinning blame on someone than learning from its mistakes will repeat these mistakes again and again. A more understanding and courteous organisation will perform better.

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Courtesy toolkit

See the other polite prompts in our please and thanks courtesy toolkit.

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