1. Empower Yourself To Fix The Problem
If something isn’t your fault then there is nothing you can do to fix it. Taking the blame doesn’t mean you have to take full responsibility or wrongfully take blame, it just means that you can approach a problem by taking ownership of what you can control and how you can impact the situation. The first step is asking yourself, what can I do to fix this? What do I need to do to change the situation and turn this thing around? Taking the blame means finding what ways you can improve, where you may have went wrong, and making the change. The minute you tell yourself that something isn’t your fault and you place the blame on someone else, you’ve literally removed any possibility for you to do anything about it. What might at first seem empowering, ironically takes away any power you once had to fix the situation. Taking the blame is often the first step toward finding the solution.
2. Authority And Blame Go Hand-In-Hand
I recently had an experience at work where I was being blamed for something that I honestly didn’t think was my fault. I was frustrated, annoyed, and emotionally drained from trying to do my job when I didn’t feel that my business partner was doing theirs. That evening I went home and stewed over the situation and it dawned on me – if you have any authority whatsoever in your job, you are going to be blamed. In fact, if you have someone else to blame that means that it was their call not yours, and you never had any power or authority to begin with. So – by nature, my job requires me to take the blame because I have the authority to make decisions and this is a very good thing. If you find yourself taking the blame for something, rejoice in the fact that you have been granted authority that calls you into question when something goes wrong. Someone who has no authority will never be blamed because they are acting entirely under the authority of someone else. If you have any hopes or dreams of being a leader or having power in your career, learn to accept the blame because if you are calling the shots, you will inevitably be blamed for something.
3. Leaders Take The Blame
People will admire you for owning your responsibilities. This is a desired trait when it comes to leaders and it is a necessary trait in order to successfully lead others. Pointing the blame will only cause others to become defensive and slow everything down. More often than not, people will pony up and admit their own errors to someone who is taking the blame and has first admitted theirs. But even if this doesn’t happen, they will be much more receptive to you if they see you taking the blame first.
4. People Don’t Care Who Is Truly At Fault
When my clients are unhappy and something doesn’t go right, they ultimately do not care why or how things went wrong. They may even be skeptical of your response and question your trustworthiness if you try to explain what happened. Take the blame and assume responsibility and they will ultimately respect you for it. Many times they just want to be heard and they just want to know someone is doing something about it, if you try to pass the buck it may only frustrate them further and they will feel like they are stuck unable to get through to the responsible party. Be the person they can give feedback to and accept the blame – be the person who will fix it for them. This puts you in the position to be the hero and will ultimately gain their trust and respect.
We can only change what we control. Take control of your life, take control of your responsibilities, own your work, and own your blame.