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Placing the Blame Where It Belongs (VIDEO)

I take a look at 2 stories of my own to help you and myself.


I want to share some of my own story as the subject of this video.  Let me start by saying that this is a hard thing to admit because I’m really competent in almost everything that I do and I don’t make a lot of mistakes but on Friday, I was doing a coaching practicum and I “stink up the joint.”

I miss things I would normally catch.  I just did not perform at a high level.  I don’t even think I perform the mediocre level.  I was just bad.

My 1st reaction was to point the finger and blame the other person I was coaching as though he was at fault for my performance.  A practicum is a process where you have 30 minutes to coach someone you have never spoken with before, you don’t know what the subject is going to be, but you have 30 minutes. You’re going to be observed by a more experienced coach and by others.  It is like a fishbowl.  You have seen the scenes in movies or in hospitals where there is a theater where the surgeon is performing surgery and observed by less experienced physicians.

It kinda feels that way because there are people who are observing and they are quiet during the coaching session (their mics are muted) and there are other participants as well is the head coach for the occasion, who are also observing.

You have 30 minutes, not 31, 30 minutes.  It’s hard to admit, but I stank.  I missed a lot of turns and my 1st reaction was to blame the person I was coaching.  He set me up. He wasn’t well prepared. After all, you’re supposed to arrive at the practicum with something to be coached on and he gave me the idea that he was making it up as he went along. After 5 minutes, he said, “I’m not really sure if this is what I want to be coached about.”  As a result, I missed the turn where I could’ve asked him about what he did want to be coached about and exploring whether or not the reason for the shift that he was hitting on something that was too close to him.

But I blamed him because in my mind, I created a story about this guy and, like I said, I stink up the joint.

I don’t care who you are, but there are things you do where, at times, you blame others just like I did here.  Instead of looking at yourself as being the source, you look at the political environment, you look at bias (which obviously exists) and neglect to look at your part in the scenario.

There are places where you criticize others when you are ill prepared for the circumstances. I thought I was well prepared but my head wasn’t and it showed in this coaching circumstance.  

I’ll simply say that were blame belongs are with oneself.  You don’t do a good enough job and you start to blame your resources, you blame the coworkers… What about you?  What is your part in all of this?

I want to encourage you that before you start lashing out like I was doing, think in terms of your part in this.  For some reason, this played on an old message of mine that happened 8 or 9 years ago when I was attempting to be certified by a group that I was involved with to lead their weekend retreats.  Without going into a lot of boring details, I felt like I was screwed over by the people who were evaluating.

I was lashing out. I was criticizing.  Blame blame blame blame blame.

It was me and, on this occasion, I didn’t show up like I normally do.  I didn’t acknowledge my own foibles afterwards.  I blamed the panel.

You don’t need to blame others. It isn’t really useful for you.

All that happens if you confront them is they dig in their heels, they try to argue with you.  They have the authority and the power and, thus, they are right.  It forced me to look back at myself as I did in what happened on Friday and look at my own part in acknowledge that I wasn’t really all that good.

So, again, blame belongs with oneself. Most of the time, not with others.  Learn that lesson. It’s a hard one for most people to learn, but you will be much happier if you do.



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been coaching people to play their professional and personal games BIG for what seems like 100 years.

For more No BS Coaching Advice & encouragement, visit my website.

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