It’s not something to really be proud of.
Deflection is deceptive. When you start to feel the heat, rather than own up, find someone or something else to direct the attention to.
And most people don’t see it’s happening. Until it’s too late.
But after you see the pattern, it’s hard to ignore.
When someone has difficulty taking responsibility, deflection becomes part of their repertoire. And sometimes unknowingly.
Let’s say you confront a coworker about not completing their part of the group assignment. Instead of owning up to it, she immediately starts talking about another team member – she starts pointing out all the things they forgot to do.
Or take your kids for example – have you ever confronted your child about misbehaving only to have them start telling you about everything that the other sibling is doing wrong?
We are probably all a little guilty of this at least some of the time.
Deflection is harmful though. It drives us away from getting at the truth. And it drives us away from looking for ways to improve.
Our attention gets pointed at something else.
And once people finally catch on, trust erodes. People lose respect.
We all want a leader who will hold everyone accountable – including themselves. Not one who intentionally points the finger at everyone else.
Accept responsibility, don’t deflect it.