Leadership Tips: Don’t Point Fingers | Fierce

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A fierce leader does not blame others. A fierce leader asks, listens, and describes what has happened – without laying blame (that’s the hard part).

I’ve worked with leaders in my past who would throw the first person they could under the bus when something went awry. Do you work with someone like that? Or more importantly – are you that person pointing the finger?

If you are, I understand how tempting it is to share the juicy faults or issues, to share what really happened and lay out all the missteps. It’s great gossip fodder. And besides that, it is often REALITY.  It is very hard to take responsibility for results that aren’t necessarily completely in your control.

There are prices you pay, though. When you blame someone else, people trust you less. And in today’s workplace – trust is a scarce resource. According to a new Edelman “Trust Barometer”, which surveys 33,000 people in 28 countries, one in three people do not trust their employer. Also, as you get closer and closer to the frontline, people trust the organization less. In fact, less than 50% of frontline staff say they trust their organization compared to executives at 64%.

Building trust is a choice that you need to make as a leader. And one simple way to do that is to take responsibility collectively for results instead of excuses. As Susan Scott, our Founder says, “You can own the results or own the excuses – not both.”

This week’s tip is to describe reality without laying blame. When something goes wrong, instead of pointing fingers, describe the situation and move to solution mode. Create and support an environment that allows everyone to own their mistakes, and therefore, everyone can own the results together.

What will get in your way?

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