I think that every manager should go out and get one of those big foam fingers you see at sporting events. In the office, let’s call it the Flying Finger of Blame.
There is an epidemic at the workplace called the blame game, where blaming someone/anyone/everyone else is now the norm. And it doesn’t work, of course.
Instead, the next time something undesirable happens, grab hold of that big foam Finger of Blame and point it right at your own head. And say, “what was MY role in that event?” Or, “what can I do differently next time?” Or even, “what am I missing here?” Aim your first three questions at you.
The foam finger is kinda funny but pointing it at yourself is a seriously transformational act inside an organization. Think about your boss for a moment – it would just be great if she pointed that big ole finger at herself instead of you and yours. And your CEO – what if he opened the next staff meeting with something like, “here’s what I need to do better in the future to help us hit our revenue targets.” Wow.
Think of the last thing that went wrong. What was your first thought? If it had to do with anyone other than yourself then this is your moment. This is your opportunity to turn that ship around. Roll back to that event – what should have been your first thought?
What will be your first thought – and your first sentence next time?