Q. You’re wrong about blame being unhelpful. As soon as I can pin the blame on someone, I can move on.

A. My question would be, “Has assigning blame solved the problem, corrected the process, resulted in a positive outcome, or improved the system so that this type of situation may be avoided in the future?”In most cases, blame is a red herring. My experience is that in and of itself the assignment of blame really doesn’t solve anything. It can make the person doing the blaming believe that this has solved the problem—when in reality it has not. And it can trigger downshifting in the person who is “blamed.” That can cause a whole plethora of additional problems. I’m interested in your perception that you can move on. Unless the situation is corrected, my brain’s opinion is that no one has really “moved on.” It’s like the elephant in the room that everyone pretends is not really there simply because a red “X” has been drawn on its trunk....

High levels of Emotional Intelligence involve behaviors where there is no need to blame. Rather, the focus is on the system or process and how the process or system could be altered in a way that would result in a positive outcome if the same situation arose in the future.

If your own behavior contributed to the negative situation, high levels of EQ require that you accept responsibility for your part and figure out what you could do differently another time. Avoid taking responsibility for anything for which you could not really be responsible (e.g., outside your control, something done by another person for which you do not have responsibility). Taking inappropriate responsibility is as dysfunctional as failing to take appropriate responsibility for your actions. 

 

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