Feedback vs. Blame


One is constructive. One is destructive.

One is helpful. One isn’t.

One brings us together. The other drives us apart.

Unfortunately, we see a lot more of the latter in our world.

Blame is everywhere. Nobody’s at fault. We are operating at an accountability deficit.

No one wants to step up and take ownership. Because ownership means fault. And fault means you could have done something wrong.

And doing something wrong requires that we deal with the feelings of shame and vulnerability. And these things are scary.

So we cling to the alternative. We push the fault on others. We blame things outside our control. Just to let ourselves off the hook.

But here is why I am writing this — blaming hurts the blamer more than the one being blamed. It drives us apart. It pushes the responsibility off on someone else — and thus, removes any reason for us to improve or do better.

A world of filled with blame hurts everyone. It drives us apart — we all hate each other, and no one improves. Everyone gets stuck in motion. Blame doesn’t help you do better the next time. Blame doesn’t help you learn. Blame only serves as a mechanism for driving us apart and making us feel better in the moment.

Blame is destructive.

What if, instead, we focused on providing feedback? What if we quickly move past what went wrong, and quickly shift our attention to making this better the next time. I am not saying that feedback isn’t hurtful to the person receiving it — it certainly can be. Sometimes to grow, we have to suffer in the short term.

The difference lies in the intent. One is intended to help us grow and improve for the future. The other is intended to make ourselves feel better at the expense of someone else.

Feedback moves the ball forward and pushes us on the path towards success. Blame pushes us apart and distracts us from the path we set out on.

Avoid the blame and focus on giving feedback that will improve the future. We will all be better off because of it.

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