Monday, November 9, 2015

Don't Find Fault, Find Fixes

I work with a wide variety of people, holding a variety of roles, within a variety of industries. Truly, it's a pretty diverse cross section. Despite this though, I see the same behaviours repeated throughout this cross section, behaviours that are limiting people's and organizational success.  One very common behaviour is the tendency to find fault.

Some people may find fault with others to make themselves feel superior.
Some people may find fault with others to ensure they have company at the bottom.
Some people may find fault to deflect any potential blame from themselves.
Some people may find fault to deliberately hurt or wound others.

Regardless of the reason, finding fault is a selfish behaviour, designed only to benefit or serve the blamer. It is therefore a destructive and demoralizing force, weakening the team as a whole. Finding fault assigns blame and builds fear, limiting the desire of people to take risks or initiate action in the future.

Successful Leaders know that it is their job to develop the confidence of those around them, that their ultimate success will be dependent upon the team's best efforts. This requires that they build not destroy, that they fix not find fault.

It takes no particular talent or effort to find fault. Determining who is to blame for something not going right not only uses up valuable time but puts everyone on the defensive.  As a result, it inhibits people's willingness and ability to resolve the situation.

Take the same energy and devote it toward fixing the problem.  Successful people don't waste their time complaining about how things are, or who's to blame for them being that way.  They look instead to finding solutions to the problems they face, often turning them into opportunities to help others facing the same issues.  

Identifying a problem is a necessary step in resolving it, but getting caught up in assigning blame is not. Putting your energy into fixing what isn't working will do far more to contribute to your success, and that of your organization, than Fault-Finding ever will.

It is those who Fix the problems that prove themselves invaluable and therefore enjoy the success and rewards that go along with resolving the issues of others.  Those who choose to continue to play the Blame-Game will find that it's a game with no true end and no true rewards.  While their growth becomes stunted, those who focus on finding fixes and solutions continue to grow and enjoy the benefits their ongoing success brings.

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