Why do people think “who’s wrong?” is a more important question than “what would work better”? How is a rampant victim mentality among leaders contributing to an out-of-balance world?
As an Inspired Feminine Leader (IFL), you know that success doesn’t coexist with a habit of blaming people, circumstances, or things. Those communication patterns don’t move you any closer to being wildly successful at any level of an organization, particularly at the top.
That’s why IFLs focus on results over reasons. As my mentors used to ask me, “Would you rather be rich, or be right?”
You may be thinking, “Okay, fair enough. I’ll hold myself to a higher degree of responsibility… but how do I lift my company to that standard when some team members choose to blame others and use complaints (especially seemingly harmless jabs) as a primary communication pattern? Well, first and foremost:
If you make it personal, you’ll be a player in the very blame game you’re wanting to fix in your company. I would rather run my own fingernails down a chalkboard than blame people for what happens in the company because doing so as a leader contributes to a highly toxic environment for everyone.
Psychologists say the #1 fear wired into humanity’s subconscious is the fear of abandonment. When a team member blames someone else, her ego acquires social capital and the false sense of avoiding abandonment. In dysfunctional companies, this is reinforced every time it’s tolerated.
IFLs realize that when someone complains about others or blames them, their ego is seeking agreement or validation from a point of view- even if they’re ‘trying to help’.
Blaming comes from the inability to accept responsibility – as leaders, it is vital to set the example for how to react when things go wrong. The key to resolving the issue of blaming is simply to pose the question – What’s next? How do we find a solution?
A winning team does not beat down on the mistakes of their teammates. They huddle up, pat each other on the back, and with the help of a good coach, re-strategize. To direct blame towards an individual only creates weakness & leads to more mistakes.
The Importance of Self-Counsel: Merging the Logical and Emotional
The balance between logic and emotion is a vital component in every decision leaders make. The ability to self-counsel is key when dealing with an emotional imbalance in the workplace. What this really means is the ability to understand the situation compassionately & logically, ultimately forming a solution that is efficient & non-abrasive.
This is a daily practice that allows us to become more methodical instead of emotionally reactive. Self-Counsel is the paternal and maternal archetypes merging (left and right side of the brain) forming a state of mind that can handle twice the amount of pressure than someone operating on a solely emotional or logical system.
When people are unhappy at work, construction is more effective than criticism.
When perceived gaps are closed within a person or environment, the issues that once were prevalent begin to dissipate. This is my formula for creating systems that eliminate complaining and blaming, replacing it with constructive action.
- Job Profiles: Making sure everyone knows their role (with job profiles) and your intended outcomes for their role quarterly and annually. My company uses Job Profiles with everything from responsibilities, to expected outcomes, to spending authority. A job profile should be succinct enough to fit on a single page.
- Quarterly Employee Performance Reviews: Make sure each team member has a quarterly meeting with his/her Manager to discuss what’s working, not working, and what is needed, and acts on that information. We use a form and copies must go to our HR Director afterward.
- Employee Satisfaction Surveys: These surveys are issued anonymously and quarterly with feedback acted upon and explanations made about why it’s not going to be acted upon. In my company, we use a system of 10 questions, each one with a score of 1-5, followed by “what would make that score a 5?” This encourages the respondent to think of what would perfect your systems and make them happy.
- Balanced Scorecard: A quarterly company-wide scoring system that is balanced across 1) Business Process Improvement, 2) Financial Performance, 3) Customer Service, and 4) Learning/Employee Growth. These four areas are quadrants, each with five separate goals valued at 5% each.
- Variable Compensation: Revenue targets, profitability, and Balanced Scorecard results are all factors in the bonus systems in my company. Each person can earn anywhere from zero to 40% of his/her base salary.
Notice that none of these have anything to do with responding to complaints in a personal way. They aren’t about trying to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong. Each of these systems helps keep things transpersonal instead of personal, and therefore they help you maintain your status as an INSPIRED feminine leader!