what to do about the blame game

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movingtospore
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what to do about the blame game

Post by movingtospore » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 4:44 pm

General question here...I've noticed, working here, whenever some kind of issue comes up, no matter how small, it degenerates into rounds and rounds of useless finger pointing. It only stops when I, the foreigner, step in and tell everyone to focus on the solution to the problem, no matter how minor. And that I could care less who's fault it is.

Takes up an awful lot of time and resolves nothing. What has me shaking my head is that the issues are usually so very minor. Not even issues really - just a small miscommunications etc that then get out of control because everyone gets pissy about it.

This isn't just a wind up - I'm wondering if anyone has figured out a better way to deal with this. I figure this is culturally ingrained, saving face etc etc, and isn't going to go away. But I would really love to find away to get the same team members to actually work as a team - and stop worrying about blame. When in reality nobody higher up cares, and repeatedly tells them that. Any ideas?

:???:

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 5:43 pm

I've been here 30+ years and I've not found a solution either. It's like the culture has been brought up since birth learning how to deflect any fault to somebody else.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 5:54 pm

Post this on your door and tell them to get the hell away from you.

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Saint
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Post by Saint » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 5:57 pm

Well don't blame me, it's not my fault!

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Post by v4jr4 » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:35 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I've been here 30+ years and I've not found a solution either. It's like the culture has been brought up since birth learning how to deflect any fault to somebody else.
^^^+1

Partially, I will agree that's the culture. But so far, the "blame" itself is something that will strain "your neck", which is, in other word, can be described as "death sentence". Empathy is something rare nowadays (I think nak said the same thing in other thread) :P
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Post by movingtospore » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 6:46 pm

What kills me is that when you have direct conversation about this kind of behaviour they really, really seem to be at a loss to understand that there are other ways of dealing with things. I tried to explain to young lady today why sending a series of snarky emails about a non-issue with one of her peers was not an effective way to solve a problem. In fact, it only delayed the solving of what was actually a minor problem by several hours. She could not see anything wrong with her behaviour and refused to take any responsibility. Sigh. There are days I just throw in the towel.

Maybe if I just shouted at her and ordered her not to do it that would work better... LOL. :roll:

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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 7:22 pm

movingtospore wrote:What kills me is that when you have direct conversation about this kind of behaviour they really, really seem to be at a loss to understand that there are other ways of dealing with things. I tried to explain to young lady today why sending a series of snarky emails about a non-issue with one of her peers was not an effective way to solve a problem. In fact, it only delayed the solving of what was actually a minor problem by several hours. She could not see anything wrong with her behaviour and refused to take any responsibility. Sigh. There are days I just throw in the towel.

Maybe if I just shouted at her and ordered her not to do it that would work better... LOL. :roll:
Time to play the corporate game... if you are working in a large enough company.

Everyone of them has an employee rating system... the last one I was at was P1 - dead meat, thru P8 - the second coming of Christ... and you couldn't give either one of those rankings.

Usually, employees also specify their own ranking based upon "accomplishments" they will accomplish in the coming year. Very often, bonus amounts are based upon these rankings.

So... use them to your advantage. Tell them you will recommend lower ratings, which will mean adverse chance for bonus, promotion, and salary increase unless they change behavior... then do it.

I hate HR rating and ranking systems... but they can be used to good effect. I gave a P3 to a guy expecting a P6... talk about shock.

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Post by Brah » Tue, 16 Oct 2012 9:06 pm

I could regurgitate one of any old threads on kiasu-ism, but, in the immortal words of War Child to Keanu Reeves' character in the silly movie Point Break, "...that would be a waste of time...".

It's not that no one is accountable for their misdeeds, but they are markedly fewer than those who do.

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Post by earthfriendly » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 7:24 am

Are you managing these employees or you are their peer? If you are the manager, you can try to call a meeting and present them with your vision of how the group should work. Having some snacks around make people more relax and receptive to new ideas. Try to make it sensory and engage their senses and hence engaging their brains too. If you can't do it in the meeting, try to communicate your working style some other ways. Some of the things you can point out:

- past incidences and how it took longer than necessary to resolve the issues

- get their input and suggestions on how to solve the issues (mentioned above) in a more effective manner

- let them know you want to create an engaging environment where people can grow i.e mistakes are tolerated.

- mistakes are ok with you and in fact an opportunity to grow. Tell them not to fear mistakes.

list goes on................

Having a monthly activity outside of office to boost team spirit. Potluck, restuarants, ball games, beach....? Even the adults need a helping hand to guide them in their lives and careers. Maybe, just maybe, you can be the one. Good luck.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 8:38 am

EF, Nice post.

I would have only added four words to the end of the whole thing....

"Good Luck."............'You're gonna need it!' :P
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 8:48 am

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Post by movingtospore » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 9:36 am

Thanks all! If nothing else, made me laugh!

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Re: what to do about the blame game

Post by ecureilx » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 9:57 am

movingtospore wrote: ...
Talking about blame game ..

Today morning, I went to my favourite Sandwich shop, to grab my breakfast and tea .. the tea was being prepared by a new staff (NOT LOCAL) .. and I observed that she just put the tea, put the sugar and was putting the lid when I asked her shouldn't she stir the teh-si ..

She gave me a blank look and I asked her again, shouldn't you stir the tea, when it is take away ?

She smiled and asked me "oh, so you want me to stir it ?" instead of admitting that she forgot that part ..

My colleague who was behind me tapped me and said "see, even the foreign staff are quick in adapting to the local blame games - now it is your mistake for not asking her to stir the tea .. '

And another instance, when the sandwich was burnt beyond black, and the Foreign staff was going to wrap it when I told her that the sandwich is burnt .. and she smiled and said "oh, so you don't like it like this ?"

I was speechless for a moment, before one of the local staff started scolding the girl, for burning the sandwich ..

Same same -it was my fault that the sandwich was burnt beyond black ..

I know .. a bit lame, but .. my point is, the blame game is not localised to natives .. and not limited to the corporate world .

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Re: what to do about the blame game

Post by nakatago » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:40 am

ecureilx wrote:
movingtospore wrote: ...
Talking about blame game ..

Today morning, I went to my favourite Sandwich shop, to grab my breakfast and tea .. the tea was being prepared by a new staff (NOT LOCAL) .. and I observed that she just put the tea, put the sugar and was putting the lid when I asked her shouldn't she stir the teh-si ..

She gave me a blank look and I asked her again, shouldn't you stir the tea, when it is take away ?

She smiled and asked me "oh, so you want me to stir it ?" instead of admitting that she forgot that part ..

My colleague who was behind me tapped me and said "see, even the foreign staff are quick in adapting to the local blame games - now it is your mistake for not asking her to stir the tea .. '

And another instance, when the sandwich was burnt beyond black, and the Foreign staff was going to wrap it when I told her that the sandwich is burnt .. and she smiled and said "oh, so you don't like it like this ?"

I was speechless for a moment, before one of the local staff started scolding the girl, for burning the sandwich ..

Same same -it was my fault that the sandwich was burnt beyond black ..

I know .. a bit lame, but .. my point is, the blame game is not localised to natives .. and not limited to the corporate world .
Culture.

You stay in a country long enough, you start assimilating the local customs and practices.
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Post by Steve1960 » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:40 am

I think I have worn down my staff! Every time the blame game started I asked three questions:

What is the root cause of the problem

Do we have or need a containment

What is the corrective action.

Its the standard Quality questions I just applied them to all the issues big or small and any topic. Now I see less of the blame game because they know what's coming :-)

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