[Noisebridge-discuss] Fwd: TechWell | What To Do about a Workplace Culture of Blame

spinach williams spinach.williams at gmail.com
Sat Oct 26 06:41:48 UTC 2013

we're a workplace?

On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 4:22 PM, Romy at snowyla.com <romy at snowyla.com> wrote:

> This is nice stuffed and is relevant in dealing with hackerspaces as well
> as work.
> I see a lot of people finding solutions to problems at noise bridge
> instead of blaming and it's rad
> *Subject:* *TechWell | What To Do about a Workplace Culture of Blame*
> http://www.techwell.com/2013/06/what-do-about-workplace-culture-blame
> What To Do about a Workplace Culture of Blame
> A blaming culture is one in which people are reluctant to speak out, take
> risks, or accept responsibility at work because they fear criticism,
> retribution, or worse. Possible signs of a blaming culture<http://www.accidentalcreative.com/teams/toxic-dealing-with-a-culture-of-blame/>include gossiping and side conversations, ambiguity about who is
> responsible for what, casting blame on outside parties such as customers,
> and attempts to conceal mistakes. Does this sound like your organization?
> When jobs, reputations, or pride are threatened, blaming<http://blogs.attask.com/blog/managingwork/project-management-finger-pointing>is a natural first step in protecting oneself. But as natural as blaming
> is, it creates its own set of problems<http://www.physiciancoachinginstitute.com/article_till1.htm>because those who are doing the blaming invest significant time and effort
> in proving that someone else is responsible, while those being blamed spend
> as much time and effort defending themselves. Carl Alasko<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-alasko/blaming_b_1382729.html>,
> author of the book *Beyond Blame*, defines blame as “a four-headed beast
> that attacks with *criticism*, *accusation*, *punishment* and *humiliation
> *.”
> It’s no easy matter to reverse a blaming culture, but if you’re in one<http://www.accidentalcreative.com/teams/toxic-dealing-with-a-culture-of-blame/>,
> try to set the stage for change by admitting your mistakes and taking
> responsibility for them. This is especially important if you’re a team
> leader, because you’ll be creating a model for team members to follow and
> setting an example that some employees may, in fact, never have seen before.
> It’s equally important not to get caught up in the blaming behavior of
> others. Instead of blaming<http://www.physiciancoachinginstitute.com/article_till1.htm>,
> seek to improve the situation or process that led to the blaming. It may be
> that there’s a people problem, but start by looking at the process to see
> if there’s a flaw or gap in understanding that’s making it difficult for
> people to do their jobs.
> Of course, people do make mistakes—sometimes serious ones—and if you’re
> the person in charge, you may need to take some action. But in most cases,
> it’s best to do it in private<http://www.nfib.com/business-resources/business-resources-item?cmsid=50461>rather than reprimanding an employee in front of the team (or an even
> larger group, as I’ve seen done at an all-hands meeting).
> Public chastising not only makes the blamed employee fearful, but it also
> can make all witnesses fear they too might someday be publicly flogged. And
> that, in turn, makes them more likely to blame others in the future.
> Above all, strive to create an environment in which employees are
> comfortable admitting their mistakes. No one’s perfect, and those who can
> acknowledge their mistakes without fear of a drubbing will be more likely
> to do so. Of course, some people are chronically insecure and therefore are
> relentless blamers. But most people are happier and far more productive
> working in an organization and on a team where people can be open about
> their mistakes—and everyone can learn from those mistakes.
> Or use the approach taken in Dilbert’s company<http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2008-12-19/>.
> Who’s to say it won’t work?
> Sent from my iPad
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