Posted By Ted Baumhauer
Went out of this past weekend. We had to park in a very crowded parking lot. Just as we started looking for a parking space a car way up front was pulling out. As we got there we noticed a couple of things about this parking space. First, the space left open was pretty narrow and second this was because the big pick-up truck just to the left had pulled in, for what ever reason, a bit to the right and was over the line. Undaunted we got our car into the narrow space and only slightly over to the right and not over the line. I will admit that our car was a bit close to the car on our right but we did our best with the space that was there. You probably already know where this story is going. When we came out the big whooping truck to the left was gone and so was the car to our right. Some one in their wisdom wrote a message on our car about our bad parking job. Of course they didn't know the story or that we came later and did the best we could with what was open. Despite that they felt a need to fix the blame. Why? Why, does it seem, that we have become fixated on fixing the blame? It must be somebodies fault and it seemed obvious to them that it was my car. What difference does this make? You can probably tell I am not happy about this and you would be right. My guess is that they were mad too, why else would they write what they did on my car. In polite company I couldn't repeat it. This does nothing to fix the problem and only serves to heighten the emotion. You've seen this in other places too, like where you work. The background, the good intentions, the effort to do the best with what was present are not even considered. It is so much easier to look at the situation in the present and make a judgement based on who is there at the time. Fixing blame rather then fixing problems is one of the biggest issues I see in my training and consulting. It happens in parking lots and it happens where we work. It rarely does anything other than heighten emotions and never helps fix the problem. Break the cycle! Forget fixing the blame because even if you can figure out who did it ...it still doesn't fix the problem. There are millions who fix the blame, and I might add a lot of them have been elected to Congress, be someone who gets things done. Fix problems, not blame.
 
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Ted Baumhauer
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