Leadership and the blame game

by MPA25 Sep 2014
By David Lykken
Special to MPA

In the mortgage industry, there are many things that can go wrong. Poor or negligent decisions can have a dramatic impact on the organization, even if they are just small oversights. As a leader in your organization, it can be very easy to become a finger pointer. It can be very easy to be constantly on the lookout for someone to blame and chastise.
In his book The Advantage, author Patrick Lencioni discusses the psychological concept of Fundamental Attribution Error. As human beings, we tend to look at other people's bad behavior and conclude that they're bad people; but, when we look at our own bad behavior, we conclude that we've just been given a bad set of circumstances. For example, that person that cut you off in traffic this morning was just being a jerk. But, when you cut someone off in traffic, it's because you were in a hurry and needed to make an important meeting.
As leaders in our organizations, we are even more susceptible to this kind of thinking. It can become easy for us to start blaming our people, without thinking of the circumstances that might be affecting their performance. Of course, sometimes you have to take disciplinary action to be a fair and justice leader.
But, before blaming and punishing your people, try seeng how you can help your people improve. How can you make it easier for them to do their jobs? When you start asking this question, I guarantee that your people will make fewer mistakes and you'll have a lot less blaming to do in the end.
David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking. David hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals.


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