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Coaching Blaming

There is an employee in my department who refuses to accept the blame when he makes a mistake. No matter what happens, it is always someone else's fault. I have talked to him about this, but he hasn't changed. How should I deal with him?

When you have an employee who refuses to accept the blame for his errors, no one can blame you for becoming a little upset. In essence, he is telling you that he is never wrong. Ironically, he is totally wrong on this issue.

One way to deal with him is to try to focus more on the concept of coaching, and less on the concept of blame. The next time he makes a mistake, give him feedback as soon as possible, and base it on specific performance data. Be sure that he clearly understands what he did and how his action or inaction led to the issue at hand. And, if the problem was truly the fault of others, ask him what he did to try to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

At the same time, indicate that you are less concerned with pointing a finger at anyone, and more concerned with preventing this kind of problem from happening again. You should demonstrate or model the kinds of behaviors or actions that would have worked more effectively in the particular situation, followed by asking him what he is going to do to help prevent this type of problem in the future. If he continues in his blameless mode, he only has himself to blame for the consequences that follow.

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