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Productive Conflict – Finger-Pointing

The Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Reference Guide “points out” that finger-pointing is a form of creating conflicts. This is what it says:

“Finger-pointing feels like a very aggressive behavior, but it usually stems from defensiveness. We’re diverting attention away from our own shortcoming or failure by pointing it out in someone else. Often, we’ll home in on one particular action of the other person that contributed to a problem. The goal is to make this action seem as awful as possible, to make it seem like this action is, in fact, the heart of the problem. By shifting the blame, we’ve saved our reputation in the short-term, but may have also unwittingly damaged our integrity. Ask yourself: How have I contributed to the problem, and why am I trying t avoid calling attention to it?”

Have you ever pointed out an error or mishap that someone has done only to have it kickback harshly back at you, somehow blaming you for causing them to make the mistake? I bet we all have been guilty of doing this ourselves. It become really interesting when the topic completely shifts off task and takes on an agenda all itself. “I noticed you didn’t sign this contract.” “Well, you never complete documents either, in fact, in your last memo, you didn’t mention when the new software will be installed.” WAIT WHAT?!? How about this one; “Why didn’t the contract get turning in on time?” “That was Frank’s job to handle so I guess he is to blame.” How do we break this vicious cycle. I guess it is up to us all to do our part to step back, be team players and not point fingers, take accountability, and avoid shifting the topic so we all can focus on a resolution as the end goal.

To view the previous blogs in this Productive Conflict series, click the links below:

You can find more information including a video on Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict here:


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