Simply put it is Blaming, Complaining, & Defensiveness.
Each one is an action that a person chooses in favor of the alternative—responsibility, action, & authenticity.
At face value it is immediately obvious that BCD is not an ideal action for anyone when confronted, however, so many continue to choose BCD when push comes to shove. BCD is an impulse choice and when events take place in our life that drive us to a response, many default to deflecting responsibility, talking poorly of their circumstances, and retorting any critique. More symptoms of BCD.
In places where people gather and share in experiences like a sports team or business, BCD is contagious and can poison efforts toward progress as it spreads from teammate to teammate.
Let's dive into each component of BCD and their specific threat to your team or business.
The action of blaming someone else is the ultimate shrugging off of responsibility for our actions. Whether the blame is just or unjust is irrelevant in the choice of blaming someone or something else. If mistakes were made and goals unmet due to choices we made or didn't make it is our responsibility to own that. It doesn't matter if a teammate or circumstances were a factor in the mistake or short falling, each of us only control our own actions and responses and blaming factors outside of our control makes us look weak.
When someone blames you for something—whether you owned a fault or not—it is likely to continue to cycle of BCD. First you will start getting defensive towards their blaming, and then you shift toward complaining about people and circumstances that are either out of your control or you are actively choosing to do nothing about. Be careful of this infinite loop, too many get caught in it for years without moving forward.
Blaming is a systemic contagion rooted in a team's culture, if the leader of the team or business has a tendency to blame others or circumstances, everyone else is likely to do the same. This is why leadership important in the fight against spreading BCD. Not a leader? This doesn't remove the personal responsibility you have for ridding yourself of BCD and using your influence on others to do the same.
The big one.
Complaining is especially dangerous because it's easy to do and extremely contagious.
You can quite literally complain about anything, think about it, you can complain about something as small as being hungry before lunch or something bigger like thinking you're not being paid enough for your job. You can even complain about things you will never be able to control like how slow (or fast) another driver is going.
The difference between complaining and identifying a problem is complaining seldom brings forth any resolution, it is just that, a complaint without action. If you're hungry, the solution is clear, eat some lunch. If you feel you are not being paid enough for your job, take the necessary steps forward to make more money by talking to whoever makes that decision about it. There are no actionable steps you can take to make the driver ahead of you go any faster, all the more reason to not complain.
Complaining is especially contagious in groups of people with shared experiences such as marriages, friends, teams, & businesses. These shared experiences are ripe with circumstances that make complaining easy and relatable. The issue is that these complaints largely are about circumstances out of their control, or issues that the group fails to move towards action on.
This one feels right.
It's only natural to stand up for yourself right? to defend your honor?
That may be, but the problem with defensiveness is that it comes from a place of weakness, of ego. A person who is defensive can't hear the world around them, and what they do hear they often times they misperceive as an attack on their actions or character.
There will be a time & a place where you have need to defend yourself, to explain your actions, the rationale behind your decisions. However, this is not the type of defensiveness BCD addresses.
The form of defensiveness that is toxic in a person, on a team, or in a business is the high ego, low confidence response critique, whether legitimate or not, brings forth. It's the type of defensiveness triggered by the fight or flight response, firing off an immediate, rushed, and impulse driven response. There is no time to evaluate the critique's legitimacy. There is no time for introspection or self-awareness. There is no time to choose the sober-minded response that comes from a place of low-ego & high confidence. No, what comes out when we're defensive is no-better than an emotional dumpster fire laying claim to self-preservation.
Defensiveness leads us down a path in the opposite direction of where we want need to go.
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