Shame and Blame 2

Shaming and blaming are considered normal in many environments. When things are not going as we want, the default position seems to be that the problem rests with other people. Yet the truth is likely that the problem, or at least some of it, lies within ourselves. One CEO/author describes what he calls the “walk of shame”, publicly berating people for their mistakes and waste in their work, as his way of getting them to pay attention. Good grief: it requires little intelligence to criticize the work of others, tear them down and make them feel the weight of all their errors and flaws.

Generations of research shows that such punishment demotivates rather than motivates. It is time to call blaming and shaming what they are…negativity. Some such leaders claim that they are just being “realists”, but they are not…they are negative, and disrespectful! You can’t lead from spirit if you blame and shame others for what is occurring. Why would anyone demean or even abuse others to get things done? Judgment and harmony cannot co-exist.

People are attracted to and energized by positive reinforcement, not negative. Belittling and berating others keeps you in your lower energies, bogging you down and straining your emotions. Such blame is a form of distraction from the discomfort that comes with realizing your own responsibility when things do not work as planned. Using fear to motivate merely creates resentment and cynicism, and does nothing to move you forward.

When we shame others, we are telling them that they are somehow unworthy of our respect. Such judgment leads to isolation. If you want your work to accomplish real purpose, you must let go of any desire to create melodrama. It just distracts and demoralizes those who are there to help you. What requires intelligence and imagination is the ability to inspire people to stretch, learn and grow.

Extraordinary leaders never give up on the possibilities that people bring. Such leaders are first in offering respect, knowing that one cannot have respect of the other without doing so. Self-awareness and reflection can help you avoid being dragged into negative thinking.