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The Opposite of Blame

This post will take you about 2 minutes to read.

Yesterday I requested an Uber and got much more than a ride home. I learned something.

Andy, my driver, was polite. We talked about his morning. How it was going. Small talk. The weather.

I asked, “How do you like working for Uber?”

Andy responded and spiraled into a rant about ratings.

He mentions how he received a bad rating from a customer. But the rating wasn’t his fault.

He dropped someone off, and they left trash directly behind his seat. Andy couldn’t see it, and when he picked up the next person, there was the trash.

The next customer saw the trash, got dropped off, and gave Andy a bad rating because his car was dirty.

“I got a bad rating, and didn’t even know why. It wasn’t my fault. The last person who was in my car left a ton of trash behind my seat.”

That’s tough.

I could relate to Andy. After spending the last few years in the support inbox, I’ve wrestled with blame every damn day.

Customers blame you. And it’s not your fault they’re using Internet Explorer. Or they forgot their password. Or their credit card expired.

You can blame them. It’s easy. It takes no effort at all to place blame. None. All you need is a finger to point.

But does that help?

Once you’re blaming, you can’t change. You’re just dependent on the other side. In fact, you’re their prisoner.

William Ury, a conversation with Simon Sinek

Blame is placing all the responsibility on someone else. It never helps. Not in any relationship.

Instead of putting the responsibility on someone else. Take it.

It doesn’t mean it’s your fault. It means you’re part of the problem. You could be a small part of it, but you’re in it. Accept that.

Because once you accept that you’re part of it, you can change it.

You can ask what version of Internet Explorer they’re using or if they can try another browser.

You can send a password reset link or reset the password for them.

Ask if they have a different credit card. Share steps to update their credit card.

You can take responsibility. Do it. Because it’s contagious.

Once you take responsibility, people are more likely to work with you instead of blame you.

The opposite of blame is taking responsibility.

Find me on Twitter @thischrisgallo or GitHub @gallochris or Instagram @heygallo.