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Chapter 5. Keeping Your Feet on the Grou... > Blaming and Problem Solving—the Diff... - Pg. 47

Keeping Your Feet on the Ground with Difficult People 47 As a manager of difficult people and situations, you don't have the luxury of getting into blaming mode. You can't use language, either intentionally or unintentionally, that conveys that you are focusing on trying to pin the "blame tail" on a handy donkey. If you do, you are almost guaranteed to make things worse. The irony of this is that things will get worse even when you're right about who is to blame--just talking in the blaming mode creates problems. Employee Handbook The problem-solving mind-set involves focusing on the present and the future, and focusing on solving prob- lems, not finding fault. The other problem with a blaming mind-set, or use of blaming language, is that it doesn't get us closer to solving the problem. Take a look at the examples we provided. Let's try the first one: "Hey, if you hadn't stalled so much, we'd be on time with this project." How is this a helpful or useful statement? Does it help us figure out why there was a delay? Does it tell us how to prevent delays from happening? If you think about it, the comment is a jab, something that the person hearing it is