Blaming, Complaining, & Defensiveness.
BCD is powerfully dangerous on two fronts:
The good news is there are things you can do to protect yourself and your team/business from the dangerous impacts of BCD.
The very action of seeing someone blaming, complaining, and being defensive within the realm of your shared experience makes BCD highly contagious, it validates you doing the same.
On a team, shifting blame will become a cohesive measure that can make the weight of those actually responsible hard to place.
Complaining is the most contagious, as an entire business can get tied up in complaining about something relatively small in the biggest picture, such as a change to the business structure or login procedure. It's easy to commiserate with others about nearly anything. The reason we don't complain is because it doesn't solve any of the issues we're complaining about, and most of the time our complaining is about things we don't even control.
Defensiveness while less contagious from person to person than complaining is still extremely dangerous in the sense that it can be a natural inclination when you feel "attacked" or feel the need to justify your actions from a place of low confidence or failure. Defensiveness can be embedded in the culture of a team or business often times being exampled by the leadership team and replicated by teammates and staff. This is largely an outcome of a culture that doesn't allow for honesty or failure, leaders and teammates alike will shift towards self-preservation to save their neck as they are fearful of the repercussions of being honest about their short fallings. It is the responsibility of ever leader wanting needing to rid their organization of BCD to build a culture that allows for transparency, honesty, and even necessary failure.
Not only is BCD contagious, it's also, at best, uncomfortable to be around someone who is spewing their BCD around you. Even if you are at no risk for catching on to their BCD, the best thing to do is to physically remove yourself from that situation. Just leave. If you need to address that person ask them who they should be discussing those things with. If their BCD is pointed at you, be wary, this can easily bring about BCD on your end, especially defensiveness. Listen first, make sure you hear everything they have to say without responding, even if some of it hurts. Take the time you need to set your defensiveness aside and evaluate their statements before addressing, this could be days later if need be.
IF YOU ARE A LEADER and you are responsible for leading the person who is actively BCDing, it is absolutely your responsibility to address this person regardless of the direction of their BCD, but take note, if it is directed at you reread the above paragraph. Also, be sure to use these tools I put together for leaders/coaches of Sports Teams & for business leaders & entrepreneurs.
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