It takes courage to admit you were wrong, that you made a mistake, missed a deadline. Taking one for the team isn’t just a phrase used in sports. Accountability in a business situation is just as important. In our professional lives, we’ve all experienced the person that will never admit to fault and will go to any length to make sure the blame points in another direction.
Whether it’s in sports or business, blaming others for your poor performance or your project missing a critical deliverable, indicates a lack of accountability for your actions.
To prevent the blame game in business, it’s important to:
- Ensure clear and concise communication at all levels so that individuals or project teams understand what’s expected of them
- Define the deliverables, milestones, and responsibilities for the project, the team, and its individuals
- Assign owners to each task and agree on the timing of project deliverables
- Hold regular meetings with all stakeholder to discuss the status of the project and to highlight any potential problems that could impact the rest of the team or the project deliverables
- Immediately escalate any problems that could impact the project
- Carry out regular audits to measure the progress of the team against the project deliverables and milestones
As with any cross functional project, there are going to be things that do not go to plan, milestones or deliverables slip and you can bet that someone (or some department) will be looking for a way to shift the blame to anyone but themselves. Open communication and self-discipline should be encouraged in all project teams. By following the points above, talking about contingency and work-around becomes the norm, instead of hiding problems and shifting the blame.
Published by Mark Donais, Practice Leader and CEO of Entry Software Corporation.
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