Stop the Blame Game!

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Have you ever felt a responsibility to people in your workplace, your community or at home? Are there people counting on you in your sporting team or another area of your life?

If you answered yes to any of these then you need to develop leadership skills.

Having leadership skills helps you better support, serve and help those around you to achieve their goals and outcomes. Having these skills help you with decision making, planning and taking action.

In a recent Weekly Wisdom, we looked at the difference between a manager and a leader I raised that a key ingredient in leadership was Self Mastery.

Self Mastery is made up of a whole lot of important skills and one of them is the ability to manage your emotional response.

One aspect of our emotional response is how we use Blame.

Before we start it’s important to note that ‘managing your emotional response’ is not about suppressing or eliminating troubling or ‘bad’ emotions.

Science tells us that there are no ‘bad’ emotions and that, if you were to choose to eliminate your emotional response you would be putting limits on your ability to experience life. And this would be unhealthy.

Some people, when they get disappointed, angry or upset, think there’s nothing they can do about the situation. They hold the belief that life happens to them.

They believe that things are done to them.

They say it’s fate, or, bad things always happen to me.

They take no responsibility for the results they get.

When you have the ability to manage your emotions and your emotional response, you are able to think differently about the things that happen and take action to make yourself feel better.

And achieve better outcomes for yourself.

Why would you want to be able to manage your emotions?

Well, why would you want to stay feeling crap every time something didn’t go your way?

Why would you choose to allow a person or event to dictate your emotions, your actions and your future?

Wouldn’t you rather be in the driver’s seat and be able to pick and choose the emotions you feel?

Stop the Blame Game

How often do you blame others for something that happens to you?

Say you buy a coffee, take it back to the office and then it goes cold because your boss calls you away from your desk and you don’t get to drink it hot just like you wanted.

Who’s fault is it that the coffee went cold? Yours? The boss?

Speaking of coffee, Brene Brown shares a story that perfectly sums up how ridiculous we can be when we chose someone to blame for an event.

“He who cannot dance puts the blame on the floor.” Hindu proverb

Why do we blame others for our misfortunes or shortcomings?

Because we can’t just let it go.

Because someone or something has to be at fault. Brene says (first names, yes, I feel she and I are besties I hear and see her so often) that we feel the need to blame as an expression of our pain or discomfort.

Think about a time when you really messed up.

Who did you blame?

I’m thinking about a time way back when I didn’t know about managing my emotions and I lost it with a guy in my team called Adrian. Screaming and yelling at each other we were. It was UGLY with a capital U.

Who did I blame? I blamed Adrian.


Well, he just made me so angry. He was wrong and he just wouldn’t listen to me so I had to shout to be heard. And he made me say those things.

“He made me say those things”.

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Anytime that you have said that someone MADE YOU FEEL something or MADE YOU DO something, then you are actually blaming them for your own inability to manage your emotional state or response.

When you can manage your emotions then you have the power to choose the appropriate emotion or the appropriate action for that situation.

When you stop blaming others for your errors, messes and when things don’t go your way, you harness the ability to change your future mood and control what you do next.

Yes, you do.

If I had taken my emotions by the reins during Adrian’s outburst that day, I might have heard a man who was feeling very threatened by the changes happening in the warehouse.

If I had been able to manage my emotions I would have been able to give him the empathy he needed. I would have been able to hear him and ask what he needed.

And how I could help him.

Stopping the blame game is about having awareness of what your triggers are and taking responsibility for what you do next.


Emma Taberner is a qualified Leadership and Executive Coach, Speaker, Facilitator, author and self-confessed Human Behaviour nerd. With over 20 years Supply Chain industry experience and 10 years coaching and mentoring frontline leaders, she is passionate about helping people to understand how their behaviours determine their effectiveness and success in business, relationships and in life. Emma works One to One, with groups, both face 2 face and online. She focuses on small business owners and their teams to create engaged leaders and sustainable business growth.

When she’s not building future leaders you can find her flying small planes, being in the outdoors, growing her own food and hanging out with her husband of over 20 years.


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