The Blame Game: Who @#$%ed This Up?

"The urge to blame military misfortunes on individuals runs as deep as the inclination to blame human error for civil disasters." ~Eliot Cohen and John Gooch, Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War

In policing BLAME is all too often the name of the game. A cop does not flawlessly handle an encounter and all ranks come out of the woodwork. Who screwed up? Why did you do it that way? I gave the order to do this or that via email, why didn't you get it done? If you had done it this way, THE WAY I WOULD HAVE this would not have happened. Blame is often our first response to a mistake, error or accident and it has a powerful negative effect on morale. Failure in policing we tend to oversimplify what in reality is complex and complicated. The types of encounters and crisis police handle are very often adaptive problems that come in all shapes and sizes and hence the tactical options and strategies to resolve or prevent them from occurring must take into account, what it takes to make real time decisions. Police mistakes or failure (whatever you prefer to call them) can not always be justly assigned to one individual. They are very often times failures of organizations, not an individual. For our profession is it not time we focus our efforts on leveraging the lessons learned from incidents, instead of the all too often big push to BLAME?

This short by Brene Brown on blame I thought sets the right tone for our reaction to blame. I am as guilty as the next guy!!!

You are probably a bit of a blamer - most of us are. But why should we give it up? In this witty sequel to our most watched RSA Short, inspirational thinker Brené Brown considers why we blame others, how it sabotages our relationships, and why we desperately need to move beyond this toxic behaviour.

Stay Oriented!

Fred