QBQ (The Question Behind the Question) addresses the attitude behind these kind of statements. They represent a victim mentality. They shift the responsibility and the blame to others. There is no sense of personal accountability.

“It’s not my job”

Are you part of the team? Then it’s part of your job. Each person on the team is responsible for the output of the team – not just themselves. If you are content to only doing “your job,” then you are either selfish (just looking to “stand out”), lazy, or both. Especially in many workplaces, if you take the time to help others outside of “your job,” you will stand out because you would be doing something that is not normal.

Even if you’re not part of a team, or part of “that team,” your character, integrity, and image (how others see you) will become better.

“It’s not my fault”

“I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.” This is a common attitude of many people. When something goes wrong, you’re first reaction should not be to blame someone else. You don’t necessarily have to blame yourself directly (at least not at first). Try to look at the situation objectively:

  • What is it that actually went wrong?
  • What are all the possible reasons that it went wrong?

After assessing the situation, then ask what you did wrong and how you could have done better. Then, you can look at what role others may have had in this situation. You may be surprised, though, to find that there’s not much to blame after you really look at the situation and your own involvement.

“It can wait until later”

I mean, why should we do now, what we can do later?

We tend to think that we have more time that we really do. Time is a limited commodity. Once you use it up, you can’t recycle it and use it again. They say that time flies when you’re having fun. It also flies when you put things off. Well, it doesn’t really – you just lose focus of the time, and it moves on without you.

We also tend to think that we can do a better job if we do it later. We’ll be more experienced later (just think about how much you can learn in a couple hours!). There may be a sliver of truth to this, but it’s very doubtful. If you wait too long, you’ll have to rush through the job, and you won’t have the quality of work that you should.

Question: What are you doing to take responsibility instead of blaming others?