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15 Dec

Habiba Fouad

Senior Executive Search Consultant

When things go bad, people point fingers.

When it happens in your business, you must move quickly!

A culture of blame quickly creates dissatisfied employees whose productivity begins to fall. The most effective solution is team building.

Use the following techniques to transform blame into shared responsibility. The resulting atmosphere of teamwork in your workplace will quickly resume, productivity will increase and finger pointing should stop.

1. Seek team solutions to individual problems. Even when it's clear that an individual is responsible for something, form a team to find solutions to the problem. By moving past blames and toward solutions, the team can bond and restore a sense of fellowship that may have been damaged by finger pointing.

2. Give the teams credit. Openly acknowledge the accomplishments of your teams. This will emphasize that you're looking for a group effort. Your employees will learn that the way to get ahead is not by pointing out someone else’s failures, but by participating in a successful team.

3. Focus on the future. Try to get team members to focus on a future they can impact, not on a past already written. Focusing on the future will enable your team creativity and get them back into collaborative problem solving.

4. Establish team norms. Lay out the rules for conducting team meetings. Make it clear that you're looking for productivity, and that blame is counter-productive. Tell team members that negative reports about failures will not be tolerated; only successes.

5. Celebrate. Celebrations provide rituals that help the team to bond. Provide a dinner to celebrate successful team efforts to reinforce the idea that you expect cooperation in solving problems, rather than backstabbing in pointing out mistakes.

6. Encourage risk taking. Restore innovation by reducing the fear of being blamed. Teach them how to brainstorm. Let the ideas flow freely around the table and watch a consensus develop. Brush criticism aside. This will eliminate the fear of not fitting in or making a mistake.

7. Give the team decision-making authority. Push them to implement solutions to a problem. This will move the focus from an individual to the reputation of the team as a whole. Blame will subside and teamwork will ensue as employees realize their reputations depend on the team's effectiveness.

8. Manage emotions. Encourage each team member to avoid speaking when angry or out of control. Raise the team awareness about irrational behaviors generated by anger and different individual sensibilities.

This post originally appeared on Linkedin. Written by Yannick Feder

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