It is funny how we adults are not that different from the kids after all. The problems and situations differ but we easily behave like kids. Office behavior and problems are not that different from the problems in the kinder garden.
We think we are adults, but we often end acting like kids.
I was listening a discussion in our breakfast table. It did rain on previous night and our backyard trampoline was wet.
Trampoline was wet and kids could not go to the trampoline.
So we had a problem.
Wet trampoline would not be a problem itself. We have towels for drying the trampoline after the rain, but someone had left the towels out, so they were soaking wet.
You already guessed what did happen. Kids started to search who was the guilty one and all kinds of blames were thrown.
Sounds familiar? If you don’t have kids you have been in same situation at work I am sure.
Blaming continued at least ten minutes before I stopped it.
None of the kids took responsibility. It is obvious that the guilty one was sitting in the same table and blaming others. She did not take the responsibility and stand out. And then what? Even if the guilty one would have been found. The towels and trampoline were still wet.
I did stop the discussion and blaming. It was not really good discussion at that point anymore.
I have seen same happen at office. Some failure has appeared and the discussion is concentrated on failure, blaming and speculation what did really happen and what should have been done – but it is too late for that when you are already in trouble.
After I did stop discussion I said “It does not matter who did it. The fact is that the towels are wet. And you need to do something to dry them otherwise you will have a problem. Who is going to do it?”
..and if you have kids you know what happened. It was not that big problem anymore. The problem lost its attractiveness.
I have seen that same thing at office as well. First failure is a huge problem, but when someone should do something to fix it, the discussion dies and it becomes awfully quiet. Sometimes the problem vanishes. It is easier to blame and tell “what I would have done” to prevent the problem than to start finding solutions and fixes for the moment.
As leader, adult and team member your responsibility is…
1. Stop blaming
2. Take responsibility.
3. Find a solution and fix the problem.
4. Learn and reflect afterwards.
..but you already knew that. You did learn it in expensive leadership training .. or in your breakfast table.
Anyone with kids have leadership skills. More kids you have, more leadership skills you will gain. Learn to recognize these situations. You will be a better leader or team player.
Photo Credit Flickr Nina Matthews