CADDManager on June 19th, 2012
This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series The Trials of a New CAD Manager

Trial Six: The Blame Game

Ever get blamed for something that you did not do?  Ever try to blame a mistake you made on something or someone else?

The challenge for a new CAD Manager may be either one of these, but I want to assume that you are not the time to always try to shift the blame to something other than yourself.  Stepping forward when you have miscalculated or failed is part of being responsible and taking responsibility for your actions.  That might be another post, but this one is when you get blamed for things you did not do.

Symptoms of this Trial:

You may or may not actually know that this is happening.  When someone else tries to shift the blame for some failure onto your shoulders, they may do it when you are not around.  The glances from others and the shot replies to questions is a tip off that something is wrong.  You may get a specific call from your supervisor about one thing or another and then a negative comment on your work in one area.

Other times the shift may happen right in front of you with comments like, “This was your responsibility” or “you dropped the ball”.

When this Trial comes your way:

Take a deep breath and compose yourself before responding.  If the blame shifter has political power in the company you may be in for a long fight.  When you respond keep it cordial and clarify the duties and responsibilities that you have and explain how this was not one of them.  Quickly turn the negative into a positive with comments like “This was not my area but I can help get us back on track” or “Let’s not start pointing fingers, although this was not my area of oversight, I can offer some suggestions…”

When someone tries to deflect blame on to you it might actually be an opportunity to take on more responsibility and greater impact in the firm.  When blame comes your way, offer to take on that area.  When someone else messes up, it might be a chance for you to shine.  Don’t purposely insult someone in the process, but if the area has been unassigned and you want it – grab it.

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