“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit”, words of great wisdom from Arnold H. Glasgow. Conflict is another fact of life which cannot be avoided, no matter how hard you try. The truth is that sometimes healthy conflicts can resolve many issues that otherwise get temporarily forgotten without a solution, only to raise their ugly heads when you least expect them to! Although how a conflict will end depends largely on the way it is handled, a common way of dealing with it is feigning complete ignorance about the issue, the way some of our famous film folks do it. The other is the more confrontational one where people simply lose it and get into a dirty slinging match of sorts. They seem to forget that just as it takes two to tango, a conflict also arises from a clash of interests where both the warring factions are equal partners in crime! The Kargil war was considered the end of the road for peace talks between India and Pakistan. When the war on field ended, the blame game started. Blaming is a way of hiding one’s own mistakes by highlighting the faults of others, whether between countries or individuals. But matters only worsen if blame finds the same target over and over again. And if you have seen blame being generously heaped on to an unsuspecting you at the personal or official level, it is high time you take some corrective measures. Given here are some tips on how you can avoid blame in a conflict.
Avoiding Blame In A Conflict
Here’s how you can avoid becoming a sitting duck for all that free floating blame in a conflict.
Make A Confession
Before the other person blames you for the entire incident, you can own up to your part in the way you think you may have caused things to snowball. Be brave enough and admit if you feel you may have triggered the conflict in any way. This will give an opportunity to the other person to also loosen up and admit how he/she also worsened matters. Such an attitude will not only keep you comparatively blame-free, but will force your co-conspirators into accepting their share of the blame and resolve matters more amicably.
Watch What You Say
It is good to take responsibility for a situation but not to overdo it. Weigh your words well before proffering to take sole responsibility for the events that may have happened, so as not to let the other person shortchange you into bearing the entire brunt of it all alone. Allow the other person enough opportunity to do his/her bit in coming forward to admit his/her part in the conflict. Do not admit to things only to please someone or to end the conflict. But if you must, then by all means let the other person know your intentions for acquiescing. Make every remark keeping in mind the possibility that a flare-up can occur in the future as well when you should not be the only one to take the blame.
Talk Clears The Air
Sometimes the mistake can very well be yours as you may not really know what triggered the fight. Ask the person involved his/her main grouse and what is bothering him/her. There are chances that you would have misinterpreted the other person’s gestures and words. So it is better to clearly state the actual reasons for conflict and prevent unnecessary blame and misunderstandings.
The Third Person
Sometimes you will be the one who is not involved in the conflict at all. You will just be indirectly involved or an onlooker. In case you offered unsolicited counsel to end the conflict and it did not go down well with the warring parties, the blame is likely to fall on you for some skewed sense of involvement! So the next time when a harried soul comes seeking advice, just lend your ear, and that’s about it. It makes no sense for an outsider like you to get caught in the crossfire without sufficient rhyme or reason!